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2 Cover: "The Hammer and the Feather" (48" x 37 1/2", Acrylic on Masonite) by Astronaut Alan Bean. Apollo 15 commander David R. Scott confirms Galileo's hypothesis that in the absense of air resistance all objects fall with the same velocity. A geologic hammer in Scott's right hand and a falcon feather in his left hand reached the surface of the moon at the same time (see chapter 13). The demonstration was performed before the television camera on the lunar roving vehicle, and no photographs were made. Compton, William David. Where no man has gone before. (The NASA historical series) (NASA SP; 4214) Bibliography: p. Includes index. 1. Project Apollo (U.S) - History. I. United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Scientific and Technical Information Division. II. Title. III. Series: IV. Series: NASA SP ; TL789.8.U6A For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office Washington, D.C

3 TABLE OF CONTENTS Preface Acknowledgments Chapter 1 - America Starts for the Moon: Introduction Organizing for Space Exploration Project Apollo: The Decision Project Apollo: The Debate Project Apollo: Prospects, 1963 Chapter 2 - Linking Science to Manned Space Flight 27 Introduction The Moon and the Space Science Program Manned Space Flight and Science Coordinating Science and Apollo Reorganizing Around Apollo 1963: Progress and Prospects Chapter 3 - Apollo's Lunar Exploration Plans 44 Introduction Scientific Interest in the Moon Planning the Lunar Exploration Headquarters-Center Relations in Science Lunar Surface Experiments Woods Hole and Falmouth Conferences, Summer 1965 Site Selection: Ranger, Surveyor, Lunar Orbiter Chapter 4 - Handling Samples from the Moon 60 Introduction Early Plans for Lunar Sample Management The Specter of "Back-Contamination" Congress Objects to the Receiving Laboratory Completing Design and Starting Construction Staffing the Lunar Receiving Laboratory

4 Chapter 5 - Selecting and Training the Crews 80 Introduction Test-Pilot Astronauts Scientists Call for Representation on Apollo Crews Organizing the Astronaut Corps More Missions, More Astronauts Moving Into Flight Operations Selection of the First Scientist-Astronauts Future Plans Require Yet More Astronauts Headquarters Expands the Ranks of Scientist-Astronauts Scientists in the Astronaut Corps Chapter 6 - Mission and Science Planning 98 Introduction Operational Constraints on Landing Sites Scientific Input to Site Selection Site Selection: Early Results from Unmanned Programs Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments MSC Develops a Science Organization Apollo at the End of 1966 Chapter 7 - Setback and Recovery: Introduction Death at the Cape The Fire and the Science Program PSAC Examines Post-Apollo Science Plans Lunar Science and Exploration: Santa Cruz, 1967 The Purse Strings Draw Tighter Lunar Exploration Program Office Established Lunar Receiving Laboratory: Management and Sample Handling Complexities of Quarantine 1967: A Critical Year Chapter 8 - Final Preparations: Introduction Spacecraft and Mission Progress Lunar Surface Experiments Lunar Receiving Laboratory Problems with Back-Contamination Control Final Simulations and Certification Picking Landing Sites Looking Beyond the First Landings - 4 -

5 Mission Planning and Operations, 1968 The Apollo Decade Draws to a Close Chapter 9 - Primary Mission Accomplished 165 Crew Activities, A Second Group of Scientist-Astronauts Crew Training and Flight Operations Apollo 11 Crew Makes Ready The First Lunar Explorers Scientific Work Begins The Astronauts in Quarantine Public Interest in Lunar Samples Astronauts Given Clean Bill of Health Scientific Side Issues: Security and Publication The End of the Beginning Chapter 10 - Lunar Exploration Begins 188 Introduction On With Lunar Exploration Selecting Sites for Lunar Exploration Preparations for the Second Mission: Crew Selection and Training Target: Surveyor III Firming Up Plans for Apollo 12 Interlude: Alarums and Excursions in the Scientific Community Preparations for the Next Mission Chapter 11 - First Phase of Lunar Exploration Completed: Introduction Intrepid Seeks Out Surveyor III Lunar Receiving Laboratory Operations The First Lunar Science Conference MSC Increases Emphasis on Science in Apollo Personell and Program Changes Mission to Fra Mauro Chapter 12 - Apollo Assumes Its Final Form: Introduction Cutbacks and Program Changes To Fra Mauro: At Last Changes for Extended Lunar Missions Landing Sites for the Last Missions Crews for the Last Missions - 5 -

6 Scientists-Astronauts' Dissatisfaction Surfaces Second Apollo Lunar Science Conference The End of Quarantine Chapter 13 - Lunar Exploration Concluded 250 Introduction Apollo 15: Great Expectations The Lunar Rover and New Experiments To the Mountains of the Moon Apollo 15's Science Dividend A Geologist for Apollo 17 To the Lunar Highlands: Descartes Apollo 17: The Close of an Era Chapter 14 - Project Apollo: The Conclusion 271 Introduction Apollo 17 Samples Fourth Lunar Science Conference The New Moon The Scientific Accomplishments of Apollo Major Issues in Apollo 1.Science in the Project 2.Scientists as Astronauts; Astronauts as Scientists 3.Lunar Sample Management and Quarantine Project Apollo: Stunt or Portent? Appendices Bibliographic Essay The Author

7 Preface The purpose of this book is only partly to record the engineering and scientific accomplishments of the men and women who made it possible for a human to step away from his home planet for the first time. It is primarily an attempt to show how scientists interested in the moon and engineers interested in landing people on the moon worked out their differences and conducted a program that was a major contribution to science as well as a stunning engineering accomplishment. When scientific requirements began to be imposed on manned space flight operations, hardly any aspect was unaffected. The choice of landing sites, the amount of scientific equipment that could be carried, and the weight of lunar material that could be brought back all depended on the capabilities of the spacecraft and mission operations. These considerations limited the earliest missions and constituted the challenge of the later ones. President John F. Kennedy s decision to build the United States space program around a manned lunar landing owed nothing to any scientific interest in the moon. The primary dividend was to be national prestige, which had suffered from the Soviet Union s early accomplishments in space. A second, equally important result of a manned lunar landing would be the creation of a national capability to operate in space for purposes that might not be foreseeable. Finally, Kennedy felt the need for the country to set aside business as usual and commit itself with dedication and discipline to a goal that was both difficult and worthwhile. Kennedy had the assurance of those in the best position to know that it was technologically possible to put a human on the moon within the decade. His political advisers, while stressing the many benefits (including science) that would accrue from a strong space program, recognized at once that humans were the key. If the Soviets sent men and women to the moon, no American robot, however sophisticated or important, would produce an equal impact on the world s consciousness. Hence America s leadership in space would be asserted by landing humans on the moon. This line of reasoning was convincing enough for most congressional leaders, who would have to provide the money, and was accepted by a majority of Americans. But Apollo was conceived and developed in an era when the scientific community was emerging as a political force in the country. Scientific research was becoming a big business in the late l950s and early l960s, sustained by unprecedented financial support from the federal government. Science had constituted the major portion of NASA s early space program and was the rationale for the space program in the first place; hence scientists considered space to be their province. The investigations of the pioneer space scientists did not require a human s presence; hence man had, in their view, no important role in space. Since Apollo was not a scientific project, it was unnecessary; because it would be expensive, it probably would be detrimental to the legitimate space program already under way. In one respect the critics were right: Apollo was not primarily a scientific project. The engineers charged with accomplishing the lunar landing within the decade had far too many problems to solve to give much thought to secondary matters - a category to which they relegated scientific experiments. Some may have felt that the landing itself was enough; the President had called for nothing more. Most probably reasoned that someone else would specify what the astronauts would do on the moon. For the engineers responsible for carrying it out, Apollo required a strict ordering of priorities: be sure we can - 7 -

8 get the crew there and back; then provide for other objectives. Risks abounded, and the glare of publicity surrounding Apollo made it certain that the loss of a single astronaut s life could imperil the project s very existence. Objections by the scientists had no effect on the nation s determination to carry out the manned lunar landing. Science would, however, considerably affect the conduct of the lunar missions that followed the first landing. By the time the project ended in December 1972, engineers and scientists had developed a mutual respect and a commonality of aims. No one lamented more strongly than the scientists - not, for the most part, the same ones who had objected so vigorously to the program in the early days - the cancellation in 1970 of three planned lunar exploration missions. Apollo might have been considered complete when the crew of the spacecraft Columbia came aboard the U.5.5. Hornet in the Pacific Ocean on July 24, Indeed, for some years after President Kennedy proposed it, the first lunar landing was regarded as the objective of Apollo. Planning for manned space flights to follow the lunar landing began in 1963 with studies on how the Apollo spacecraft could be modified to extend the duration of the missions and increase the payload that could be carried to the moon. In l965 a program called Apollo Applications emerged, which included long-duration earth-orbital flights as well as lunar exploration. It would build and launch a few Apollo spacecraft and Saturn rockets each year, sustaining the nation s manned space capability and producing useful information while the nation decided what the next major step in manned space exploration would be. By late 1967, however, it was clear that that decision would not come early, and that post-apollo programs other than lunar exploration required more thought. An Office of Lunar Exploration Programs was opened in NASA Headquarters to direct the continued exploration of the moon under the Apollo banner, and the earth-orbital portion of Apollo Applications, which would evolve into Skylab, was split off.* The development of the spacecraft, rockets, and launch facilities necessary to accomplish the primary goal of Apollo has been described in three prior volumes in the NASA history series.** The story of the lunar spacecraft and the flight program up to the return of Apollo 11 is detailed in Chariots for Apollo. The present volume is both a parallel and a sequel to Chariots; it traces the development of the Apollo science program from the earliest days and continues the history of the Apollo program, laying major emphasis on the scientific exploration of the moon conducted on the later flights, Apollo 12 through Apollo 17. * See W. David Compton and Charles D. Benson, Living and Working in Space: A History of Skylab, NASA SP-4208 (Washington, 1983). ** Courtney G. Brooks, James M. Grimwood, and Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., Chariots for Apollo: A History of Manned Lunar Spacecraft, NASA SP-4205 (Washington, 1979); Roger E. Bilstein, Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo/Saturn Launch Vehicles, NASA SP-4206 (Washington, 1980); Charles D. Benson and William Barnaby Faherty, Moonport: A History of Apollo Launch Facilities and Operations, NASA SP-4204 (Washington, 1978).] - 8 -

9 One issue of great concern to scientists and engineers alike was whether a trained scientist should be included in the crew of the lunar module. If the point of man in space was to make best use of the unique capabilities of humans, would not manned space science require a professional scientist? Or were the intricacies and potential hazards of flying the spacecraft so great that only test pilots could be trusted to lead the missions? Could one professional be sufficiently trained in the other s skills to be an adequate surrogate? The qualifications of candidates for selection and training as astronauts, and the choice of crews for each mission were points that were never really settled during Apollo and remained a point of contention throughout the project. Another issue concerned the scientific study of the samples returned from the missions, which was complicated by the U.S. Public Health Service s insistence on quarantining everything returned from the moon until it could be shown that no exotic microorganisms had been accidentally imported. The Lunar Receiving Laboratory and its role in the storage, dissemination, and preservation of the lunar samples are important to the scientific story of Apollo. Finally, this history must make a first cut at answering the following questions: what have scientists made of the data produced by Apollo? Do we understand more about the origin and history of the moon and the solar system as a result of Apollo s six voyages? Any answers to these questions can only be provisional since, like all scientific questions, they are subject to revision as new investigators apply new techniques to the samples. By the time this history was written, scientists had reached consensus on very few answers to the questions that lunar exploration hoped to clarify, but I have tried to summarize their tentative conclusions. A program as complex as Apollo is not easily handled by a simple chronological account. In the early stages, from 1961 to roughly the end of 1966, the several phases of the program had to be hammered out more or less independently and many complex relationships had to be built. For those reasons I have organized the early chapters of the book topically, the better to deal in some detail with these early developments. By early 1967 most of the separate elements were in place; then on January 27, 1967, the program was shaken to its foundations by the command module fire that killed three astronauts in training for the first manned Apollo mission. The fire was a watershed for Apollo, setting back operations by a year or more while NASA and its contractors examined every detail of spacecraft design, manufacture, and management. It had almost no negative effect on the science program; in fact, lunar exploration probably benefited by the delay, which gave some much-needed time to the development of the lunar surface instruments and the lunar receiving laboratory. From the fire to the first lunar landing in July 1969, a basically chronological account of development is somewhat more manageable. The other accident in the Apollo program, the aborted Apollo 13 mission, was deliberately mentioned only briefly in the main text. To have covered that flight in detail, dramatic as it was, would have lengthened the story unacceptably; and since other authors have dealt with it in detail[see Ref ], I decided to treat the essentials of the accident, the management of the flight, and the results of the investigation in appendix 8. The safe return of the crippled spacecraft and its three crewmen is a monument to the skill and determination of hundreds of dedicated individuals; the subsequent investigation was a masterly piece of engineering detective work, lacking a body - the failed spacecraft itself - to provide clues; but space did not permit full treatment of the flight in all its aspects. As for its impact on lunar science, Apollo 13 created a delay of a few months, giving scientists a little breathing space, which they wel

10 comed, to refine plans for later missions. The loss of one load of lunar samples and the data from one more set of surface experiments was of small importance in the end. More than that was lost a few months later when two of the remaining six missions were canceled. In writing this history I was granted unrestricted access to the extensive Historian s Source Files at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, to the files in the History Office at NASA Headquarters, and to documents stored at the various Federal Archives and Records Centers. To the extent possible within the time constraints of my contract, participants reviewed my drafts and offered comments. They also corrected factual errors where they found them. Their comments were given thoughtful consideration and incorporated into the history whenever the documentation seemed to support them or when an insider s viewpoint yielded insights the historian cannot glean from the documents alone. The interpretations of events here recorded, as well as any errors that remain, are my responsibility. I have tried to define fairly and accurately the arguments on both sides of the scientific and technological issues that bore on the conduct of the Apollo exploration missions. I found it somewhat difficult to treat the opposition to the Apollo program voiced by many prominent scientists. Of course the scientists who spoke against Apollo and later criticized NASA s management of it were merely exercising their right to political expression. One reviewer who took exception to my treatment noted that this was the only avenue open to the scientists, who were put off by the engineers and had no choice but to go public with their objections, in the hope that political pressure would gain what their efforts within the system had not. Nevertheless, their objections, usually based on the unspoken assumption that purely scientific projects were entitled to privileged treatment, often smacked of intellectual arrogance. More imitating still - even to an outsider - few of those who criticized the project wanted to assume any responsibility for managing it. On the whole the objectors preferred to remain outside, where they could pursue their rewarding scientific careers while freely criticizing NASA - often in ignorance of the political, operational, and cost restrictions within which the space agency had to operate. Those scientists who made a commitment to the program and stayed with it to the end, establishing close relationships with mission planners and scaling their objectives to the capability of the system, deserve more credit than they usually get for the ultimate scientific productivity of Apollo. The reader who suspects that I have a lingering bias in favor of Apollo s engineers is probably correct. I would not dispute the scientists assertion that the engineers in charge of Apollo often seemed to be throwing roadblocks in the way of science. I suggest, however, that the engineers reluctance to stretch the missions as far and as soon as the scientists wanted grew out of a healthy respect for the limitations of heir equipment and procedures. However easy it may have come to seem, landing on the moon and returning to earth was not a bit less hazardous on the last mission than on the first. When lives are at risk, the line between boldness and recklessness can seem narrow to those who carry the responsibility. NASA and the nation paid the price of haste on January 28, 1986, when the space shuttle Challenger and its crew of seven were lost 73 seconds after launch. One word about terminology. Throughout the text I have used generic terms like scientific community as convenient shorthand, which may be misunderstood. Obviously no single, homogeneous scientific community exists now, or ever did, and I use the term only to indicate the source of comments or criticisms. Terms like manned space flight enthusiasts,, Headquarters officials, or MSC engineers only categorize the source of a comment and do not imply that all persons in that category agreed with the statement or point of view thus attributed W.D.C. Houston, 1987

11 Acknowledgemnets The onerous task of acquiring, sorting, and culling the Apollo documentation at Johnson Space Center had been all but completed when I undertook this history. Chief among those responsible for acquiring these records and putting them in order are James M. Grimwood, historian at JSC from 1962 to 1979, and the late Sally D. Gates, editor and archivist in the JSC History Office until her death in By helping me learn to find my way through this morass while I worked on an earlier project, Jim Grimwood and Sally Gates earned my lasting gratitude. Similarly the staff of the Headquarters History Office - Monte D. Wright, director, Frank W. Anderson, Jr., assistant director, Carrie Karegeannes, editor, and Lee D. Saegesser, archivist - provided moral support, critical evaluation, and substantial assistance in my early days. Sylvia D. Fries, who took over as director in 1983, was no less helpful and encouraging on the present project than her predecessor. In the later stages of research and writing I was fortunate to have a sympathetic and helpful technical monitor in William E. Waldrip of the Management Analysis Office at JSC. Not only did he help in working with the NASA bureaucracy; he also took a deep and genuine interest in the organization and content of the book and offered perceptive comments while I was writing it. Mrs. Sarah C. Arbuckle deserves mention for the hundreds of hours of tedious labor she applied to preparing the computerized index to the Apollo files, which was one of the tasks required by my contract. Although the results of her efforts do not appear in this book, the index was of great help in research in the later stages of its preparation. Researchers who use these files in the future will surely be grateful for her work. Captain Alan L. Bean, USN (Ret.), artist and former astronaut, generously provided the frontispiece: a reproduction of his picture, "The Hammer and the Feather," which depicts the demonstration performed by David R. Scott on Apollo 15. No photograph of this demonstration was taken on the moon; the only ones available were taken from the television screen on which earth viewers saw it performed. Finally, my thanks go to the participants in Apollo who provided interviews and criticized the manuscript


13 1 AMERICA STARTS FOR THE MOON: Introduction When the crew of Apollo 11 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969, Americans hailed the successful completion of the most audacious and complex technological undertaking of the 20th century: landing humans on the moon and returning them safely to earth. Just over eight years before, when President John F. Kennedy proposed the manned lunar landing as the focus of the United States' space program, only one American - Lt. Comdr. Alan B. Shepard, Jr. - had been into space, on a suborbital lob shot lasting 15 minutes. At the end of the first lunar landing mission, American astronauts had logged more than 5,000 man-hours in space. To the extent that any single event could, the first successful lunar landing mission marked the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's development of the capability to explore space by whatever means were appropriate for whatever purposes seemed to serve the national interest. To many, Apollo 11 demonstrated that the United States had clearly won the "space race" with the Soviet Union, which had been one of the space program's major purposes. By the time that was done, other issues dominated the scene. National interests were not the same in mid-1969 as they had been in Of the public reaction after Apollo 11, a congressional historian has written, The high drama of the first landing on the Moon was over. The players and stagehands stood around waiting for more curtain calls, but the audience drifted away.... The bloody carnage in Vietnam, the plight of the cities, the revolt on the campuses, the monetary woes of budget deficits and inflation, plus a widespread determination to reorder priorities pushed the manned space effort lower in national support

14 Project Apollo encompassed more than simply sending men to the moon and back. It reflected a determination to show that humans had an important role to play in exploring space, as they had in exploring the unknown comers of the earth in earlier centuries. That proposition was not universally accepted. From the time the space agency determined to put humans into space, many Americans argued vigorously against manned space flight on the grounds that it was unnecessary and inordinately expensive. Space scientists had already shown how much could be done with instruments, and planners were designing spacecraft that would revolutionize communications, weather forecasting, and observation of the earth, all without requiring the presence of people in space. These arguments were difficult to refute. Only when it came to exploring other planets did humans seem superior. For all of their limitations, humans were far more flexible than the most sophisticated robot, capable - as preprogrammed instruments were not - of responding creatively to the unexpected. If people had a place in space exploration, surely it would be on the surface of the moon. Man's place in space exploration was decided, however, on other grounds. President Kennedy chose to send humans to the moon as a way of demonstrating the nation's technological prowess; and Congress and the nation endorsed his choice. That demonstration made and the tools for lunar exploration developed, Americans would go back to the moon five times, to explore it for the benefit of science. Organizing for Space Exploration The Soviet Union's launch of the world's first man-made satellite (Sputnik) on October 4, 1957, concentrated America's attention on its own fledgling space efforts. Congress, alarmed by the perceived threat to American security and technological leadership, urged immediate and strong action; the President and his advisers counseled more deliberate measures. Several months of debate produced agreement that a new federal agency was needed to conduct al nonmilitary activity in space. On July 29, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). 2 When it opened for business on October 1, 1958, NASA consisted mainly of the four laboratories and some 8,000 employees of the government's 43-year-old research agency in aeronautics, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).* Within a few months NASA acquired the Vanguard satellite project, along with its 150 researchers from the Naval Research Laboratory; plans and funding for several space and planetary probes from the Army and the Air Force; and the services of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) outside Pasadena, California, where scientists were planning an unmanned spacecraft (Ranger) that would take close-up television pictures of the lunar surface before crashing into the moon. 3 * NACA's installations were Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, Langley Field, Va., with its subsidiary Pilotless Aircraft Research Station at Wallops Island, Va.; Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, Moffett Field, Calif.; Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory, Cleveland, Ohio; and the High-Speed Flight Station at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Langley, Ames, and Lewis became îresearch Centersï under NASA, and the High-Speed Flight Station was renamed the Flight Research Center, later the Hugh L. Dryden Flight Research Facility (honoring NASA's first Deputy Administrator and long-time Director of NACA, who died in 1965)

15 Vanguard and JPL brought a strong scientific component into NASA s activities. Many of the Vanguard scientists became administrative and technical leaders at NASA Headquarters and at its new space science center (Goddard Space Flight Center** at Greenbelt, Maryland. JPL's contributions to the space program would be strongest in instrumented spacecraft for the planetary programs. It also shared with Goddard major responsibility for development and operation of the tracking and telemetry network used in deep space operations, including Apollo. 4 These new acquisitions were grafted onto NACA, an organization that had played a leading role in the development of aircraft technology since After World War II, new aerodynamic and control problems had to be solved as the demand for military aircraft to perform at greater speeds and higher altitudes increased. By 1957 the X-15, one of a series of rocket-propelled piloted aircraft, was on the drawing boards. It was intended to be capable of exceeding Mach 6 (six times the speed of sound) and of climbing beyond 107,000 meters (67 miles) - above nearly all the sensible atmosphere. NACA was, in fact, approaching the conditions of space flight by extension of the operational limits of manned aircraft. Other NACA engineers were working on other space-related problems. At Langley's Pilotless Aircraft Research Division, aerodynamicists were acquiring important data on aerodynamic heating at speeds of Mach 10, unattainable in the wind tunnels of the time, by flying models of aircraft and missiles mounted on rockets. 5 When Sputnik went up, many of these engineers were already talking about the problems of putting humans in an earth-orbiting spacecraft. 6 The necessity for thinking about humans in space was made apparent when, less than a month after Sputnik, the Soviets orbited Sputnik II, a 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) satellite carrying a living passenger - a dog named Laika. With this dear evidence that the Russians intended to send men into space, both the Army and the Air Force resurrected dormant schemes to follow suit. Neither could produce a credible mission for humans in space, and both lost out to the new space agency in 1958, when President Eisenhower assigned all manned space flight projects to NASA. 7 Before NASA was a month old, Administrator T. Keith Glennan chartered a Space Task Group (STG) at Langley and charged it with managing the United States' first project to put man in space: Project Mercury. In 1961 STG was redesignated the Manned Spacecraft Center, a connotation of its newly expanded responsibility for all manned projects, and located on 1,660 acres (6.5 square kilometers) of flat Texas pasture land 22 miles (35 kilometers) southeast of downtown Houston. 8 Crucial to any ambitious program in space was the ability to launch large payloads into earth orbit and to send instrument payloads to the planets. Rockets far exceeding the capacity of existing launch vehicles were required, but only one was being seriously pursued. At the Army's Redstone Arsenal just outside Huntsville, Alabama, the Free World's most experienced rocket engineers - Wernher von Braun and the team built around the hundred-odd Germans who developed the V-2 rocket during World War II - were about to undertake construction of a vehicle called Saturn I, five times as powerful as the biggest then available. By 1959, however, the Army had lost its last tenuous foothold on space flight and had no use for Saturn - nor could it provide any other pioneering work for the ambitious von Braun. On July 1, 1960, rocket development at Redstone Arsenal followed some earlier Army space programs into NASA when von Braun and 4,600 employees, along with many of the facilities at Redstone, became the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center. 9 Thus by the end of 1960 NASA had the elements of a comprehensive space program in place. Marshall Space Flight Center would design, test, and ** Named in honor of the American pioneer of liquid-fueled rockets, Dr. Robert H. Goddard ( )

16 launch*** the rockets and oversee their production by industry. The Manned Spacecraft Center would manage spacecraft design and testing, conduct flight operations, and train the astronauts. Goddard and JPL would be responsible for tracking, communication, and data management. At Headquarters, a triumvirate comprising the Administrator, Deputy Administrator, and Associate Administrator managed the overall program, determining policy, preparing budget requests, and defending the program and the budgets before congressional committees. Agency programs - science, manned space flight, advanced research - were managed by directors of Headquarters program offices. The field centers reported to the Associate Administrator, who coordinated the program offices and allocated resources to the centers. Project Apollo: The Decision During NASA's first two years, manned space flight managers struggled with the problems of organizing extremely complex and technologically demanding projects. The established space science programs continued to produce new data on the earth and its space environment. President Eisenhower, among others, favored continuing the productive (and comparatively inexpensive) unmanned science programs and withholding judgment on manned programs. In his departing budget message to Congress, the retiring president noted that more work would be needed "to establish whether there are any valid scientific [emphasis added] reasons for extending manned spaceflight beyond the Mercury program." 10 In early 1961, a committee of scientists appointed by newly elected President John F. Kennedy recommended that "we should stop advertising Mercury as our major objective in space activities [emphasis in the original]," and instead try to "find effective means to make people appreciate the cultural, public service, and military importance of space activities other than space travel." 11 So problem-ridden did Mercury seem that Kennedy's advisers felt the new president should not endorse it and thereby risk being blamed for possible future failures; better, the scientists believed, to emphasize the successful science and applications programs and the tangible benefits they could be expected to produce. In spite of Mercury's early problems, manned space flight enthusiasts were thinking far beyond manned earth-orbital flights. NASA's engineers were confident that they could send people to the moon and back. A moon flight was an obvious goal for the manned programs. It would be an end in itself, needing no justification in terms of its contribution to some larger goal, and it would demonstrate the nation's superiority in space technology to all the world. Preliminary work and discussion during 1959 turned up no insurmountable obstacles, and in mid-1960 NASA announced its intention to award contracts to study the feasibility of a manned lunar mission. The project even had a name: Apollo. On October 25, study contracts were let to three aerospace firms. 12 NASA might conduct studies to show that man could go to the moon, and scientists might argue that manned space flight was of doubtful value, but Congress and the president would have to make the commitment, and the decisive stimulus was still lacking. Then on April 12, 1961, the Soviets once more spurred a major advance in the American space program by sending Major Yuri A. Gagarin into space for one orbit of the earth. Congressional advocates of an all-out effort to "beat the Russians" *** Marshall maintained a subsidiary Launch Operations Directorate at the Air Force's Eastern Test Range at Cape Canaveral, Fla., which was made autonomous in 1962 as the Launch Operations Center (renamed the John F. Kennedy Space Center in December 1963), responsible tor final assembly, checkout, and launching of manned space vehicles

17 renewed their cries; influential media organs saw a challenge to America's world leadership, as did many high government officials. President Kennedy called on Vice-President Lyndon Johnson, chairman of the National Space Council, to survey the national space program and determine what project promised dramatic results that would show the United States' supremacy in space. Johnson immediately began consultations with NASA and Defense Department officials and with key members of Congress. 13 Kennedy's desire for "dramatic results" did not coincide with what others had in mind for the space program - especially the scientists. Neither Eisenhower's nor Kennedy's science advisers believed that any results from manned space flight could compare with those expected from space science and applications programs. During the debate on the creation of a space agency, the President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC) issued an "Introduction to Outer Space," which asserted that "scientific questions come first" and that "it is in these [i.e., scientific] terms that we must measure the value of launching satellites and sending rockets into space." 14 Eisenhower's chief scientific adviser, James R. Killian, former president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and chairman of PSAC, said after leaving his White House position in 1960 that the Soviets' space exploits were attempts "to present spectacular accomplishments in space as an index of national strength." He deplored the tendency to design American programs to match the Soviet Union's and urged that the United States define its own objectives and pursue them on its own schedule, not indulge in costly competition for prestige in space exploration - by which he apparently meant manned space flight. "Many thoughtful citizens," Killian said, "are convinced that the really exciting discoveries in space can be realized better by instruments than by man." 15 His views were shared by many scientists, including Jerome Wiesner, a member of PSAC since its formation who became principal scientific adviser to John Kennedy. What the scientists could not, or would not, recognize was that their excitement was neither understood nor shared by any substantial majority of the people. Some scientists, however, believed the space program should include elements with strong public appeal. The Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences,* NASA's officially designated source of scientific advice, discussed the question of man in space early in 1961 and later that year adopted a position paper on "Man's Role in the National Space Program." The board asserted that the goal of the nation's space program should be the scientific exploration of the moon and the planets but recognized that nontechnical factors were vital to public acceptance of a space program. Human exploration of the moon and planets would be "potentially the greatest inspirational venture of this century and one in which the world can share; inherent here are great and fundamental philosophical and spiritual values which find a response in man's questing spirit..." Thus the space exploration program must be developed "on the premise that man will be included. Failure to adopt... this premise will inevitably prevent man's inclusion," presumably because of the costs involved. "From a scientific standpoint," the paper went on, "there seems little room for dissent that man's participation in the exploration of the Moon and planets will be essential, if and when it becomes technologically feasible to include him." 16 This endorsement of man's participation in space exploration was at variance with a substantial * The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nongovernmental body chartered in 1863 to promote the advancement of science and to provide advice, when asked, to the government on scientific matters. Membership in the Academy is regarded as recognition of eminence in research and is the highest honor an American scientist can be awarded short of the Nobel prize. See Daniel S. Greenberg, "The National Academy of Sciences: Portrait of an Institution," Science 156 (1967): , , and In June 1958 the Academy created a Space Science Board to advise the government on the space science program

18 body of opinion in the American scientific community, as events of the next two years would show; and the board's adduction of nonscientific values to justify manned space flight would later draw pontifical rebuke from an influential scientific organization. 17 On May 8, 1961, Lyndon Johnson's survey of the space program culminated in a lengthy report drafted by NASA and Defense Department officials. The report recommended strengthening the civilian space program in all areas. Particularly pressing was the need for new and much more powerful launch vehicles. As for the best way to put the nation ahead of the Soviets, the report chose a manned lunar landing: "It is man, not mere machines, in space that captures the imagination of the world." However small its value in military or scientific terms, such a project would not only recover the country's lost prestige, it would stimulate advances in every phase of space technology and give the nation the means to explore space in whatever way best suited the circumstances. 18 With this strong endorsement of a lunar landing project, and after Alan Shepard's successful suborbital Mercury flight on May 5, Kennedy put together a message to Congress on "Urgent National Needs," which he delivered in person on May 25, While the speech covered many issues, its major impact was on the space program. In it Kennedy expressed his belief that a manned lunar landing, "before this decade is out," should be the principal goal of the American space effort. Stressing that this meant a long and costly development program to reestablish the nation's world leadership in technology, he cautioned that "if we are to go only halfway, or reduce our sights in the face of difficulty... it would be better not to go at all." 19 It was a call for the country to commit itself wholeheartedly to a long-term project that required sustained effort, substantial cost, and determination to see it through to a successful conclusion. If congressional reaction was less than enthusiastic, as Kennedy is reported to have felt afterwards, 20 events of the following summer proved that Congress was solidly behind the venture. The supplemental budget request to get Apollo under way - $675 million over Eisenhower's proposed $1.1 billion - carried both houses with large majorities after little debate and suffered only minor reduction by the House Appropriations Committee. 21 Congress and the nation were eager to see Apollo succeed; but NASA engineers, while confident that it could be done, better understood the magnitude of the task. Robert R. Gilruth, head of the Space Task Group, recalled later that he was simply aghast at what NASA was being asked to do. 22 Project Apollo: The Debate Support for the Apollo commitment was not unanimous, either in Congress or among the public. The public opposition most often questioned the wisdom of spending so much money on space when so many domestic problems confronted the country. Those who spoke for science often shared this concern, but their special objection was Apollo's distortion of priorities within the space program. One unidentified astronomer was reported to have complained to Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois that the space program was becoming "an engineering binge instead of a scientific project." 23 Petulant as that comment may sound, it epitomized what many space scientists most feared about the lunar landing project. Space science was a rapidly expanding field, offering almost limitless possibilities for exploitation by ambitious investigators. It had been generously supported by NASA for three years and had produced a rich harvest of scientific knowledge, much of it unfamiliar to the public. Manned space flight, merely because of man's participation, drew attention that gave it prominence far out of propor

19 tion to its scientific value. The pioneers of space science were what one historian has called "sky scientists" - mainly astronomers and physicists interested in studying the sun and stars and particles, fields, and radiation in near-earth space. 24 Sky scientists could well have believed that their projects would suffer as lunar and planetary science gained support. Lunar science, which stood to gain the most from Apollo, counted only a few practitioners who did not yet have the influence of the established space science programs. American science generally was still riding a wave of public esteem and government subsidy that had begun in the early 1950s and had swelled again after Sputnik. Basing their arguments on the indisputable contributions made by scientists to the war effort during World War II, American scientists had worked long and hard after the war to convince the public and the Congress that America's standard of living and position in world affairs depended on a strong scientific base, which in turn depended on generous funding of basic research. By the mid-1950s government support of basic research had risen to a level that prewar researchers could not have dreamed of. This new status had not been easily achieved and often had to be defended; many congressmen would have preferred to support practical projects rather than pure research, which often seemed pointless. (Indeed, congressmen and journalists frequently enjoyed making fun of research projects that had absurd-sounding titles, such as the reproductive physiology of the screwworm fly. 25 But scientists had grown increasingly influential in governmental affairs. Prominent scientists found their counsel being sought more and more frequently by government at all levels, and science had enough influential friends in and out of government to ensure the continuity of a substantial level of support throughout the postwar years. 26 Nonetheless, the most prominent and influential spokesmen for science seemed to feel uneasy about the viability of their favored status. Their behavior was characterized by one critical observer of the science-government interaction as "not unlike [that of] a nouveau riche in a fluctuating market." Every threat, real or imagined, to reduce the support of science - or even to reduce its rate of growth - was regarded as a potential catastrophe. 27 So the space scientists may have perceived Apollo as a threat. No one could accurately predict its ultimate cost - estimates ranged upward from $20 billion - but it would be expensive enough that Congress might trim other programs to provide its funds. Scientists' misgivings about Apollo were expressed intramurally in the summer of 1962 at the Space Science Board's first summer study of NASA's science programs. Convened at the request of NASA, the six-week summer study brought together more than a hundred participants from universities and industry to evaluate NASA's past activities and recommend future policies and programs. The final report of the study, noting that "there is considerable confusion about the Apollo mission and its proper justifications," stated that Apollo was just what Kennedy had said it was: a program to put America first in space, with no necessary commitment to science. Until the success of the lunar landing could be clearly foreseen, Apollo was, and must be, an engineering effort, "and the engineers must be protected in their ability to do their jobs." Scientific investigations would be phased into the program later; still later, assuming intermediate success, "scientific investigations will become the primary goals." It was evident that these considerations were not well understood - and perhaps not accepted - by the scientific community, for the report urged NASA to work harder to make them clear. 28 This section of the report was addressed primarily to the scientific community rather than to NASA, but whether it allayed any fears is debatable. If it did, events of the following fall could well have raised stronger ones. In November, manned space flight projects were severely cramped by lack of funds, and

20 Brainerd Holmes, director of Headquarters's Office of Manned Space Flight, wanted to ask Congress for a $400-million supplemental appropriation to cover unanticipated costs. NASA Administrator James Webb, unwilling to risk undermining congressional support, did not agree. Holmes then proposed to transfer money to Apollo from other NASA programs, including science, but again Webb refused. When the question was taken to the White House, Webb told the President he would not take responsibility for a program that subordinated all else to the lunar landing. The extra funds could wait, he said, until NASA went to Congress with its fiscal 1964 budget. President Kennedy accepted this compromise. 29 Webb's stand for a balanced program should have surprised no one, for both he and his Deputy Administrator, Dr. Hugh L. Dryden, had repeatedly stated their view that the lunar landing was not in itself the ultimate goal of the space program; it was a project which, to be successful, required the advancement of space technology and science on a broad front. 30 Webb went to Capitol Hill in March 1963 asking for $5.712 billion - $2.012 billion more than the previous year's budget request. Nearly 80 percent of the increase was for manned programs, but funding for space science was also substantially raised, by 50 percent over the previous year's budget. 31 For the first time NASA met significant resistance to its presentation. The sudden drastic increase in the total budget (54 percent in one year), the growing awareness of the probable total cost of Apollo (estimated at $20-$40 billion), and the increasing dissatisfaction in the country with the administration's priorities all combined to raise opposition to the manned space program to a peak during the spring and summer of As hearings on the administration's budget proceeded, the space program drew fire from many sources. Retired President Eisenhower reiterated his conviction that Apollo was not worth the tax burden it would create. 32 The Senate Republican Policy Committee published a report questioning the Democratic administration's expenditures on space rather than on other urgent national needs. 33 Two years before, Kennedy had warned that the cost would be high and that careful consideration by Congress and the public was essential. It was useless to agree that the country should bid for leadership in space, he had said, unless "we are prepared to do the work and bear the burdens to make it successful." 34 Under the pressure of Soviet achievements, the commitment had been endorsed. When the bills began to come due, the country was not so sure. In the debate that spring and summer, many scientists spoke from their peculiar point of view concerning the space program. On April 19 Philip H. Abelson, editor of Science,* summarized the case against Apollo in an editorial. It did not deserve the priority it had been given in the space program, Abelson believed. Its scientific value, small at best, would be even less if (as seemed likely) a trained scientist was not sent on the first landing mission. More and better data could be obtained by unmanned probes, at about one percent of the cost. In Abelson's view, neither the military advantages nor the "technological fallout" cited by advocates could justify the cost of sending men to the moon. 35 After Abelson's editorial, many other scientists expressed their reservations concerning the space program, and a general debate ensued in the press. 36 Criticism focused on several points: the lunar landing * Science, the weekly journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), probably reaches more scientists in different disciplines than any other single scientific publication. (In 1963, AAAS numbered about 76,000 members.) Besides publishing technical papers, Science provides news and analysis of many subjects of interest to the scientific community. Acerbic and outspoken, Abelson characterized himself as "a damned maverick" in testimony before the Senate space committee later in the year

21 program had almost no scientific value and science would be advanced much more by spending the same money on unmanned projects; the space program lured promising young talent away from other worthwhile research, creating an imbalance in the nation's overall scientific effort; and the money spent on Apollo could be better invested in educational, social, and environmental programs. Some seemed to feel that Apollo had been promoted as a scientific program and to resent the confusion in the public mind. Hugh Dryden reminded the critics that "no one in NASA had ever said [Apollo] was decided upon solely On the basis of its scientific content." 37 Other scientists agreed with Dryden and expressed their acceptance of the lunar landing On its own terms. 38 Senator Clinton P. Anderson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, which was then considering NASA's authorization bill for fiscal 1964, reacted to this debate by inviting several prominent scientists to present their views to the committee. During two days of hearings, ten scientists (including Philip Abelson, who was the first to be heard) ranged over most of the ground covered in the public debate. If there was any general agreement, it was that the time limit set for Apollo was probably conducive to waste, and that many national problems deserved equal attention; but there was no agreement that American science was being skewed by so much attention to space. The strongest protest against the program was a written statement provided by Warren Weaver, vicepresident of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, who listed many good things that could be bought with $30 billion** - a price he said was "undoubtedly an underestimate"*** of Apollo's ultimate cost. 39 Senator Anderson got what he wanted from the scientists - a variety of views that improved his perspective of the space program. 40 The disapproving witnesses' doubts were echoed in Congress. NASA's budget did not go through unscathed, but the cuts actually made were less than some in Congress would have liked. When the House approved NASA's authorization bill on August 1, support for the space program was still strong: the majority was six to one. 41 After three more months of debate and cuts totaling $612 million, NASA's appropriation ($5.1 billion) passed both houses by large majorities. 42 Many opponents of expensive manned space flight programs would express their objections over the next decade, but Apollo would go forward, carrying - as some thought - the rest of the space program with it. 43 What might have been, if there had been no lunar landing project, can be (and was) long debated. Over and over, advocates of the manned programs pointed out the reality of the situation: the nation could afford whatever it valued enough to pay for. Social welfare and other desirable programs had to win support on their own merits and would not necessarily be given Apollo's $3 billion a year if it were canceled. The politics of a technological project with a clear goal and self-evident success or failure were much simpler than any plan to conquer poverty, rebuild the cities, or clean up the environment. ** Thirty billion dollars, Weaver said, would give every teacher in the U.S. a 10 percent annual raise for 10 years; give $10 million each to 200 small colleges; provide 7-year scholarships at $4,000 per year to produce 50,000 new Ph.D. scientists and engineers; give $200 million each to 10 new medical schools; build and endow complete universities for 53 underdeveloped nations; create 3 more Rockefeller Foundations; and leave $100 million over "for a program of informing the public about science." *** The official estimate provided to Congress in 1973 was $25.4 billion. House, Subcommittee on Manned Space Flight of the Committee on Science and Astronautics, 1974 NASA Authorization, Hearings on H.R. 4567, 93/2, Part 2, p

22 No proof is possible that space science (or science generally) would have been better supported if Apollo had not been claiming such a large fraction of the space budget. In fiscal 1964, when NASA's budget request first encountered serious resistance in Congress, space science was authorized $617.5 million; its spending authority grew to $621.6 million and then to $664.9 million in the next two fiscal years. 44 (The entire Mercury project, from 1958 to 1966, cost about $400 million. 45 But manned space flight budgets were three to four times those mounts, and Homer Newell, director of NASA's science programs for the first nine years, would later recall that space scientists never hesitated "to complain about not getting their fair share of the space budget." Newell, a space scientist himself and as active an advocate as space science had, understood and accepted the overall priorities of the space program, as the scientists apparently did not, and they sometimes tried his patience. He would later remark that "whatever complaint there might have been about either the absolute or relative level of the space science budget..., there can be little doubt that it represented a substantial program." 46 Project Apollo: Prospects, 1963 Apollo survived the debate of 1963, as it would survive worse troubles later, but the cut in NASA's budget request (more than 10 percent) left its mark. The following spring Administrator James Webb would not assure Congress, as he had in the past, that he was confident the lunar landing would be accomplished within the decade - only that it was possible, if everything went well. 47 And much could yet go wrong. Spacecraft design and the basic mission operations plan had been settled and the major contracts had been let. Years of testing and design refinement lay ahead. An entire project, Gemini, was still to be conducted, to establish the feasibility of rendezvous - bringing two spacecraft together in orbit - on which the success of Apollo depended. In terms of technical milestones, the lunar landing was still a long way off. The science community had registered its objections to Apollo, as had other concerned citizens, and the nation had reaffirmed the commitment asked of it by its late president. Those same objections would continue to be voiced, but the lunar landing would remain the major driving force behind the national space program. One thing that could be clearly seen at the end of 1963 was that manned space flight had an important interest in reaching some kind of accommodation with science. Over the next four years NASA officials and members of the science community worked to establish a program of scientific exploration that would become the primary purpose of the later Apollo missions

23 Notes U.S., Congress, House, Toward the Endless Frontier: History of the Committee on Science and Technology, (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1980), p This history was written by Ken Hechler, a Ph.D. historian and author of books on political and military history. who served on the House Committee on Science and Technology for 18 years beginning in Homer E. Newell, Beyond the Atmosphere: Early Years of Space Science, NASA SP-4211 (Washington, 1980), pp Newell joined NASA in 1958 as director of the space science program, became Associate Administrator for Space Science (later Space Science and Applications in 1961 and Associate Administrator in He retired in 1973 and died in See also Arnold S. Levine, Managing NASA in the Apollo Era, NASA SP-4102 (Washington, 1982), pp. 9-17, and Robert L. Rosholt, An Administrative History of NASA, , NASA SP-4101 (Washington, 1966). pp Rosholt, Administrative History, pp For a history of JPL's Ranger project, see R. Cargill Hall, Lunar Impact: A History of Project Ranger, NASA SP-4210 (Washington, Newell, Beyond the Atmosphere, pp Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., James M. Grimwood, and Charles C. Alexander, This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury, NASA SP-4201 (Washington, 1966), pp The NACA-NASA research in high-speed flight is treated in Richard Hallion's On the Frontier: A History of the Dryden Flight Research Facility, NASA SP-4303 (Washington, 1984). 6. Swenson, Grimwood, and Alexander, This New Ocean, p Ibid., pp Courtney G. Brooks, James M. Grimwood, and Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., Chariots for Apollo: A History of Manned Lunar Spacecraft, NASA SP-4205 (Washington, 1979), pp. 4, Roger E. Bilstein, Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo Saturn Launch Vehicles, NASA SP-4206 (Washington, 1980), pp Rosholt, Administrative History, pp For a history of JPL s Ranger project, see R. Cargill Hall, Lunar Impact: A History of Project Ranger, NASA SP-4210 (Washington, Newell, Beyond the Atmosphere, pp Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., James M. Grimwood, and Charles C. Alexander, This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury, NASA SP-4201 (Washington, 1966), pp The NACA-NASA research in high-speed flight is treated in Richard Hallion s On the Frontier: A History of the Dryden Flight Research Facility, NASA SP-4303 (Washington, 1984). 6. Swenson, Grimwood, and Alexander, This New Ocean, p Ibid., pp Courtney G. Brooks, James M. Grimwood, and Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., Chariots for Apollo: A History of Manned Lunar Spacecraft, NASA SP-4205 (Washington, 1979), pp. 4, Roger E. Bilstein, Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo Saturn Launch Vehicles, NASA SP-4206 (Washington, 1980), pp

24 10. Documents on International Aspects of the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, , staff report prepared for the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences (Washington, 1963), p. 188: the quote is from Eisenhower's annual budget message to Congress, Jan. 18, "Report to the President-Elect of the Ad Hoc Committee on Space," Jerome B. Weisner, chmn., (classified version), Jan. 12, 1961, p Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp John M. Logsdon, The Decision to Go to the Moon: Project Apollo and the National Interest (Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press, 1970), pp , President's Science Advisory Committee, Introduction to Outer Space (Washington, 1968), p James R. Killian, address to the M.I.T. Club of New York, Dec. 13, 1960; quoted in Logsdon, Decision, p Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, " Role in the National Space Program," reprinted in Senate, Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, National Space Goals for the Post-Apollo Period, 89th Cong., 1st sess. (henceforth 89/1), 1965, pp Logsdon, Decision, p James E. Webb and Robert S. McNamara, memo to the President, "Recommendations for our National Space Program: Changes, Policies, Goals, " May 8, Logsdon, Decision, pp Ibid., p Ibid. 22. Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, p Robert Colby Nelson, "Full Moon Debate," Christian Science Monitor, June 14, Hall, Lunar Impact, pp House, Subcommittee on Space Sciences and Applications of the Committee on Science and Astronautics, 1965 NASA Authorization, Hearings on H.R. 9641, 88/2, part 3, pp See also Hechler, Toward the Endless Frontier, pp For a study of the changing relationships between science and government before and after World War II, see Daniel S. Greenberg, The Politics of Pure Science (New York: The New American Library, Inc., 1967)

25 27. Ibid., p Where No Man Has Gone Before: A History of Apollo Lunar Exploration Missions 28. National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council, A Review of Space Research, NAS/ NRC Publication 1079 (Washington, 1962), pp to 1-22; see also Newell, Beyond the Atmosphere, pp Newell, Beyond the Atmosphere, p See, for example: Webb's address to the Greater Hartford (Conn.) Chamber of Commerce, Oct. 1, 1962, cited in Astronautical and Aeronautical Events of 1962, NASA Report to the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, 88/1 (Washington, 1963), p. 206; Webb's address to the Northeast Commerce and Industry Exposition, Boston, Oct. 2, 1962, ibid., p. 207; Hugh L. Dryden, letter to Sen. Robert S. Kerr, chmn., Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, cited in Astronautical and Aeronautical Events of 1961, NASA Report to the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, 87/2 (Washington, 1962), p. 28. While program office officials covered details of the current programs' budgets and plans with congressional subcommittees, Webb and Dryden consistently stressed the broader aims of the programs before the full committees. Consult the various House and Senate committee hearings on NASA authorization bills, fiscal years , for more examples. 31. House, Committee on Science and Astronautics, 1964 NASA AUTHORIZATION, hearings on H.R. 5466, 88/1, part 1, pp. 2-3; idem, 1963 NASA Authorization, hearings on H.R , 87/2, part 1, pp Endless Frontier, p "A Matter of Priority: An examination of the budget and benefits of the moon shot in relation to other problems," report prepared by the staff of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, May 10, Logsdon, Decision, p P. H. A[belson]., "Manned Lunar Landing," Science 140 (1963): See, for example: Frederick D. Hibben, "NASA, Scientists Divided on Space Goals," Aviation Week & Space Technology, Apr. 29, 1963, pp.24-25; Albert Eisele, "Nobel Winners Criticize Moon Project," Washington Post, May 6, 1963; Robert Hotz, "Apollo and Its Critics," Aviation Week & Space Technology, Apr. 29, 1963; William J. Perkinson, "Engineers vs. Scientists," Baltimore Sun, Apr. 30, 1963; Howard Simons's 3-part series in the Washington Post, "Scientists Divided on Apollo," May 12-14, "U.S. Official Answers Critics of Manned Lunar Program," Baltimore Sun, Apr. 30, "Man-on-Moon Project Backed by 8 Scientists," Washington Evening Star, May 27, Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, Scientists' Testimony on Space Goals, Hearings, 88/1, June 10-11,

26 40. Ibid., pp Endless Frontier, pp Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1963, pp. 440, 464, Newell, Beyond the Atmosphere, p Ibid., p Swenson, Grimwood, and Alexander, This New Ocean, p Ibid., pp House Committee on Science and Astronautics, 1965 NASA Authorization, Hearings on H.R. 9641, 88/2, part 1, p

27 2 LINKING SCIENCE TO MANNED SPACE FLIGHT Introduction Scientific exploration of the moon required close cooperation between two quite different organizations within the space agency. Space science was an active field of research when NASA was created, with a well-organized constituency and established procedures for generating and developing experiments. The Office of Space Sciences, which managed these projects, relied heavily on scientists outside the agency for advice on policy and regarded itself as an operational arm of the nation's scientific community, providing opportunities for that community to conduct the research it deemed important. The Office of Manned Space Flight, on the other hand, had no interested constituency outside of the space agency. Having been handed their primary assignment by the President in 1961, engineers of the manned space flight organization reported to the NASA Administrator and to Congress on the progress of their projects. To get these two offices working together on exploration of the moon was not simple. Starting in 1962, Homer Newell, director of the Office of Space Sciences, began to lay the organizational foundations on which eventual collaboration would be built. The Office of Manned Space Flight, feeling the pressure of the Apollo deadline, was at first reluctant to spend much time preparing for science. By the end of 1963, however, much of the preliminary work had been done and the broad outlines of a lunar science program were taking shape. The Moon and the Space Science Program NASA's initial space science programs were largely defined by the projects transferred from other agencies and were mainly concerned with the study of phenomena in near-earth space. But shortly after

28 taking over direction of space sciences, Homer Newell established a Theoretical Division to support programs in planetology and lunar science. 1 Unlike space physicists and astronomers, those interested in the moon and planets had little hard data to work with. Lunar and planetary science in 1960 was a field for theoreticians, and few scientists devoted their entire attention to it. So when Robert Jastrow, whom Newell appointed to head the new division, set out to learn all he could about current theories and research in that area, he had a very short list of sources to consult. High on the list was the name of Harold C. Urey, professor at large at the University of California at San Diego. Urey, a chemist whose scientific career spanned four decades, had won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in During the second World War he had directed one of the major projects for concentrating uranium-235, the fissionable material of the first atomic bomb. A scientist of catholic interests, Urey became fascinated by the distribution of the chemical elements within the earth and in the solar system. Noting that there had been an extensive separation of iron from the rocky materials of the earth and meteorites, he began to consider possible mechanisms for the accretion of the planets out of the primordial matter of the solar system. In 1952 he published a book on the origin of the planets, in which he asserted his belief that the moon might provide the key to understanding the formation of the solar system. On retiring from the University of Chicago in 1958 at age 65, he continued to teach and conduct research in California, devoting considerable time to cosmology. 2 Urey brought a chemist's approach to a subject that had previously been the province of astronomers and astrophysicists. Like almost any chemist of his era, he would have preferred to have samples that he could study in the laboratory. Lacking lunar samples, he used information from meteorites, plus such physical data as were available concerning the moon, to construct working hypotheses. When Apollo was created, Urey supported it for the contributions it could make to his own research interests, but he was conscious of its nonscientific value as well. In 1961 he thought that the lunar landing was too expensive for its potential scientific return, but on reflection he decided that if the money were not spent on Apollo it might well go to less productive projects and changed his mind. 3 Urey never failed to criticize NASA's practices when he felt criticism was justified, but on the whole he was a dependable supporter of the lunar landing program. 4 Impressed by Urey's exposition of his theories and the potential they held for space investigation, Jastrow brought him to Headquarters to confer with Newell about possible NASA programs for lunar exploration. Their enthusiasm convinced Newell that space science should make room for a program in lunar and planetary sciences, and in January 1959 he appointed an ad hoc Working Group on Lunar Exploration to coordinate the efforts of NASA and academic scientists and to evaluate proposals for lunar experiments. 5 Such interest as there was in lunar missions in early 1959 was at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).* Even there, however, many scientists favored missions to Venus and Mars rather than to the moon, partly because the best opportunities for launch to the near planets occurred less frequently. 6 The moon - in earth's back yard, so to speak - offered an optimum launch opportunity once every lunar month, and if one were missed because of problems with a launch vehicle the delay was only four weeks, whereas * JPL's director William Pickering had proposed an unmanned lunar probe as a response to Sputnik but had found no support for it. 1. R. Cargill Hall, Lunar Impact: A History of Project Ranger, NASA SP-4210 (Washington 1977), pp

29 a mission to Mars would have to wait two years if an optimum launch date were missed. While JPL was developing a plan for 12 deep-space missions, including 5 moon probes, Jastrow was urging Newell to accelerate NASA's lunar exploration programs. Once again, however, the Soviets' eagerness to achieve space "firsts" exerted its pernicious influence on American space programs. Even before the Working Group for Lunar Exploration could finish drawing up a list of recommendations for lunar missions, the Russian Luna I swung by the moon and into solar orbit, measuring magnetic fields and particles in space. A month after JPL submitted its plan to Headquarters on April 30, 1959, orders went out to Pasadena to reorient the program to concentrate on lunar orbiting and soft-landing missions. (Apparently Headquarters felt that the more frequent opportunities for lunar missions offered the best chance to beat the Russians to their apparent target.) As the year progressed, the Soviets sent two more Luna spacecraft to the moon; one crashlanded, the other photographed the hidden side of the moon for the first time. In December Headquarters killed JPL's planetary exploration plan, in part because of problems with the proposed Atlas-Vega launch vehicle, and substituted a program of seven lunar missions using the Atlas-Agena B. Emphasis was on obtaining high-resolution photographs of the moon's surface, but some space science instruments would be carried as well. JPL would also investigate the feasibility of sending a hard-landing instrument package to transmit data about the moon. This project, called "Ranger," was explicitly recognized as a high-risk project geared to very short schedules and intended to capture the initiative in lunar exploration from the Soviet Union. 7 Since lunar and planetary exploration seemed to have a promising future, Homer Newell established a Lunar and Planetary Program Office at Headquarters in January 1960 to manage it. 8 Initially, Ranger was the the new office's only lunar project. In July 1960 a second, Surveyor, was approved. More ambitious than Ranger, Surveyor had the objective of soft-landing a large (2,500 pounds, 1,100 kilograms) instrumented spacecraft on the moon's surface to gather physical and chemical information about the lunar soil and return it to earth by telemetry. 9 Both Ranger and Surveyor were technically ambitious projects, requiring improvements in spacecraft stabilization, navigation and guidance, and telemetry. Both encountered technical and management problems that pushed back their completion dates to the point where rapidly changing events made their original objectives obsolete. In 1960, neither Ranger nor Surveyor was primarily intended to support the manned lunar landing, which at that time was still only an idea in the minds of NASA's planners, although both, if successful, would yield information useful to that project. But the pressures generated by the needs of Apollo between 1961 and 1963 forced Ranger and Surveyor into supporting roles for the manned space flight program, to the intense chagrin of the space scientists. Manned Space Flight and Science When the engineers of Robert R. Gilruth's Space Task Group began work on Project Mercury in 1958, they could not - as the space scientists could - draw on 10 years of experience in designing their spacecraft and conducting their missions. Aviation experience was helpful in some aspects of manned space flight, but in many others they faced new problems. Apollo posed many more. The engineers did not lack confidence that the President's goal could be met, but they knew only too well how much they had to learn to achieve it. A sense of urgency pervaded the manned space flight program from the beginning right up to the return of Apollo 11 - an urgency that determined priorities for engineers at the

30 centers. Every ounce of effort went into rocket and spacecraft development and operations planning. Science was considerably farther down the list, and for the first five years they gave it little thought. Manned space flight projects were ruled by constraints that were less important to science projects. One was safety. Space flight was a risky business, obviously, but the risks had to be minimized. No matter that the astronauts themselves (all experienced test pilots in the beginning, accustomed to taking risks) understood and accepted the risks. From the administrator down to the rank-and-file engineer, everyone knew that the loss of an astronaut's life could mean indefinite postponement of man's venture into space. Moreover, NASA was in a race, competing against a competent adversary and working in the public eye, where its failures as well as its successes were immediately and widely publicized. Reliability was one key to safety, and spacecraft engineers strove for reliability by design and by testing. With few exceptions, critical systems - those that could endanger mission success or crew safety if they failed - were duplicated. If redundancy was not feasible, systems were built with the best available parts under strict quality control, and tested under simulated mission conditions to assure reliability. 10 The measures taken to ensure reliability and safety contributed to the fact that manned spacecraft invariably tended to grow heavier as they matured, making weight control a continuing worry. Those constraints were not so vital in the unmanned programs. Instruments needed no life-support systems and required no protection from reentry heat; scientific satellites were usually expendable. Being smaller than manned spacecraft, they required smaller and less expensive launch vehicles. Furthermore, those vehicles could be less reliable. More science could be produced for the money if experimenters would accept less than 100-percent success in launches, and space scientists were content with this. 11 The loss of a scientific payload, though serious to the investigators whose instruments were aboard, did not cost a life. On the whole the engineers were content to go their way while the scientists went theirs. But the scientists were not [see Chapter 1], and their protests seemed to require a response. Manned space flight enthusiasts spoke of the superiority of humans as scientific investigators and of the benefits to science that would result from putting trained crews in space or on the moon to make scientific observations. No existing instrument, they said, could approach a human's innate ability to react to unexpected observations and change a preplanned experimental program; if such an instrument could be built, it would be far more expensive than putting people into space. 12 This argument did not move the space scientists, most of whom worked in disciplines where human senses were useless in gathering the primary scientific data. The role of a person in space science was not to make the observations but to conceive the experiment, design the instruments to carry it out, and interpret the results. 13 Cleverness in these aspects of investigation was the mark of eminence in scientific research. The early manned programs offered space scientists no opportunities that could not be provided more cheaply by the unmanned programs. The relationship between the manned and unmanned programs - essentially one of independence - took quite a different turn with the Apollo decision. Within two weeks of President Kennedy's proposal to Congress, NASA Deputy Administrator Hugh L. Dryden told the Senate space committee that Apollo planners would have to draw heavily on the unmanned lunar programs for information about the lunar surface. Knowledge of lunar topography and the physical characteristics of the surface layer was vital to the design of a lunar landing craft

31 Ranger was the only active project that could obtain this information, and to provide it, NASA asked Congress for funds to support four additional Ranger missions. The day after Dryden testified, NASA Headquarters directed the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to examine how to reorient Ranger to satisfy Apollo's needs. 14 This directive was received with mixed feelings by the participants in Ranger. JPL's project managers favored a narrower focus, because the scientific experiments were giving them technical headaches that threatened project schedules. They proposed to equip the four new Rangers with high-resolution television cameras and to leave off the science experiments, using the payload space to add systems that would improve the reliability of the spacecraft. Scientists who had experiments on the Ranger spacecraft, however, were upset by the proposed change. When they complained to Newell, he and his Lunar and Planetary Programs director reasserted the primacy of science in Ranger and did everything they could to keep the experiments on all the flights. But the difficulties with the Ranger hardware and the pressure of schedules proved too much. In the end, the problem-plagued Ranger carried no space science experiments on its successful flights, but did return photographs showing lunar craters and surface debris less than a meter* across. 15 Apollo could command enough influence to affect the unmanned lunar programs, but science had no such leverage on manned flights. For that matter, scientists had little interest in Mercury; its cramped spacecraft and severe weight limits, plus the short duration of its flights, made it unattractive to most experimenters. Still, the Mercury astronauts conducted a few scientific exercises, mostly visual and photographic observations of astronomical phenomena. 16 Comparatively unimportant in themselves, these experiments pointed up the need for close coordination between the scientists (and the Office of Space Sciences) and the manned space flight engineers. After John Glenn's first three-orbit flight on February 28, 1962, the Office of Space Sciences and the Office of Manned Space Flight began to look toward the moon and what humans should and could do there. 17 Apollo managers had spent the second half of 1961 making the critical decisions about launch vehicle and spacecraft design; in the spring of 1962 they were wrestling with the question of mission mode. Should they plan to go directly from earth to the moon, landing the whole crew along with the return vehicle and all its fuel on the lunar surface? Or would it be better to assemble the lunar vehicle in earth orbit - which would require smaller launch vehicles but would entail closely spaced multiple launches, rendezvous of spacecraft and lunar rocket, and the unexplored problems of transferring fuel in zero gravity from earth-orbiting tankers to the lunar booster? Or was the third possible method, lunar-orbit rendezvous, preferable: building a separate landing craft to descend from lunar orbit to the moon, leaving the earth-return vehicle circling the moon to await their return? 18 Apart from its essential impact on the booster rocket and spacecraft, the mission mode would determine how much scientific equipment could be landed on the moon, how many men would land to deploy and operate it, and how long they would be able to stay. Until the decision was made it was pointless to try to design equipment, but by early 1962 the mission planners needed to know in general terms what the scientists hoped to do on the moon and some important questions of responsibility and authority had to be settled. * Ranger's results came too late ( ) to affect the design of the Apollo lunar module; they did confirm that the designers' assumptions about the lunar surface were satisfactory and that the lunar module needed no modification

32 Coordinating Science and Apollo The question of science on Apollo was far down the list of priorities in the Office of Manned Space Flight during 1961, behind such overriding questions as the choice of mission mode and the configuration of the launch vehicle. Elsewhere, however, stirrings of scientists' interest in the lunar mission began to appear. The director of MIT's Instrumentation Laboratory, which was designing the navigation system for Apollo, proposed that at least one Apollo crewman should be a scientist, since the major interest in the moon would be scientific. Furthermore, he said, it would be easier to train a scientist to pilot the spacecraft than to make a scientist out of a test-pilot astronaut.19 A similar suggestion was made by a group of scientists working with the Lunar Exploration Committee of OSS, who asserted that the scientist should be a geologist, or at least a scientist well versed in geology and geophysics. They further proposed that NASA begin to recruit astronaut trainees from the ranks of professional scientists. 20 That the Office of Manned Space Flight and the Office of Space Sciences would have to coordinate their efforts became evident early in When Homer Newell appeared before the Space Sciences Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics to defend NASA's authorization request, he was pointedly questioned about the support his office was providing for Apollo. 21 This line of questioning evidently perturbed Newell, for he subsequently wrote a personal letter to the subcommittee chairman explaining that the specific information needed by Apollo would become available through the normal course of lunar scientific investigations. Newell acknowledged the importance of the lunar landing, but could not agree that concentrating on the immediate needs of Apollo's engineers would best serve the overall space program. Newell's attitude gave rise to a feeling, even within OSS, that "space sciences was rather unbending in not getting scientific data which would assist the manned program," in the words of a Langley official. Langley had proposed that future Ranger missions should carry an experiment to measure the load-bearing capacity of lunar soil intended to assist in the design of the Apollo lunar landing craft, but the proposal had been rejected in favor of a purely scientific exercise in lunar seismometry. 22 Newell, far from being indifferent to the needs of Apollo or unconscious of its importance, was simply trying to conduct his programs in the best interests of space science. Mindful of space scientists' increasing discontent over Apollo and its effect on NASA's budgets, he was trying to avoid alienating his major constituency. As nearly as Newell could make it, the Office of Space Sciences was run along lines that suited the scientific community. Advice on policy - the general fines that OSS programs should follow - was provided by the Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences and reflected the best consensus the space science community could reach. The content of space science projects was determined (within rather broad limits) by the interests of individual investigators, evaluated and endorsed by the Space Sciences Steering Committee and conducted under the direction of the investigator who proposed it. No one in OSS would have dreamed of telling scientists what experiments they should conduct with the expectation of having their instructions followed or their advice appreciated. Indeed, had anyone in OSS attempted to direct the course of a scientist's experiment, he would have brought down the wrath of the entire scientific community on the space science program. The prerogative of individual scientists to explore problems of their choice, with the endorsement of their scientific peers, is one of the hallmarks of basic research, and probably the most jealously guarded. 23 While Newell might have been able to find a way to supply the data Apollo needed, he risked losing the confidence of the scientists in doing it. At a meeting of OSS field directors in June 1962, Newell's

33 director of Lunar and Planetary Projects reiterated that "pure science experiments will provide the engineering answers for Apollo." 24 The issue was focused more sharply in mid-june, when Brainerd Holmes issued a document specifying the information Apollo required: the radiation environment in cislunar space, the physical properties of lunar soil, and the topography of the moon, including photos and maps to permit selection of a landing site. All groups conducting lunar investigations were asked to give top priority to obtaining the specified data. 25 The curt wording of the document and its assumption of overriding importance for the lunar landing project were not calculated to win friends in the space science programs, where managers had been struggling with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory over the same issue on Ranger and Surveyor. As events developed, it was JPL's director, William C. Pickering, who forced the issue later in the summer by urging Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., to seek an agreement between the Office of Space Sciences and the Office of Manned Space Flight that would allow JPL to define Ranger's objectives more clearly. Pickering's inclination was to support Holmes, because the science experiments were among Ranger's prime sources of difficulty. 26 While unintentionally stirring up resentment on one front, the Office of Manned Space Flight was more cooperatively seeking assistance on another. In March 1962 the Space Sciences Steering Committee, at OMSF's request, established an ad hoc working group to recommend scientific tasks to be performed on the moon by the Apollo crews. Not less important, the group would recommend a course of scientific instruction for astronauts in training. Chaired by Charles P. Sonett of the Lunar and Planetary Programs Office, the working group initially included five members from the Office of Space Sciences and one from the Office of Manned Space Flight; membership was later expanded to thirteen and a roster of some dozen consultants was added. 27 The Sonett committee first met on March 27, 1962, to hear William A. Lee, assistant director for systems in OMSF, explain what his office wanted it to do. As the minutes of the meeting recorded it, Lee's approach was far from peremptory and demanding; rather, he explained, the Office of Manned Space Flight now wants very much to have on Apollo moon flights experiments which are of fundamental significance scientifically. They would like the Working Group to consider these experiments without constraints set in advance by OMSF. OMSF will attempt to tailor flights and flight equipment to meet these needs. As examples, it is expected that the duration of stay on the moon may be largely determined by space science requirements and that if necessary, one or more members of the crew could be professional scientists trained as test pilots.... They welcome suggestions from the Group as to astronaut selection procedure with respect to scientific background; OMSF will handle physiological and psychological factors in astronaut selection.... Unmanned and earth-based scientific experiments which tie in with or prepare for manned experiments will be undertaken by OMSF as part of Apollo; suggestions by the Group are desired. 28 At the committee's third meeting on April 17, Lee presented the engineering guidelines to be considered by the group in proposing experiments. OMSF expected to fly the first mission "before 1970" and subsequent missions at intervals of about six months. The mission mode, not yet selected, was not to be considered by the committee, nor were engineering and operational details of the flights. Landing sites would be chosen by manned space flight officials, but the Sonett committee was encouraged to indicate the desirability of particular areas. OMSF considered it "possible that one of the flight crew might be a

34 professional scientist trained to perform flight operations.... [But this] would significantly complicate our selection and training program, and should not be done unnecessarily." Lee urged the committee to assume no additional constraints. Even if some experiments required difficult engineering development, OMSF wanted the committee to list them so that the requirements could be considered in designing the Apollo spacecraft. 29 The guidelines Lee provided stated that the Office of Manned Space Flight would consider the committee's report "a major factor" in determining some characteristics of the proposed missions. For example, the planned number of missions ("more than one but less than ten") and time to be spent on the lunar surface ("between 4 and 24 hours") might be strongly influenced by scientific considerations. If enough worthwhile scientific work could be done, "stays up to 7 days are not impossible." Similarly the planned payload (100 to 200 pounds, 45 to 90 kilograms) might be increased and the mobility of the astronauts on the surface might be extended, for example by providing a motorized vehicle and tailoring the space suit for increased ease of manipulation, if the increased scientific return justified the added expense. A soft-landing unmanned supply vehicle carrying up to 30,000 pounds (13,600 kilograms) of support equipment and supplies was under active consideration; this vehicle might carry additional heavy or bulky scientific equipment. 30 Lee's presentation indicated that the Office of Manned Space Flight was willing to be as accommodating as possible in providing for scientific exploration of the lunar surface. But the qualifiers in Lee's guidelines suggest that OMSF left itself many escape clauses that could have important effects on the scientific program. With these guidelines in mind, the Sonett committee began to collect suggestions for lunar surface experiments. Their criteria, established early, were simple: experiments must be scientifically feasible and important, capable of being performed only on the moon, significantly improved by having a human aboard, and likely to lead to additional scientific and technological progress. Three basic types of experiments were suggested: measurements and qualitative observations to be made by the astronauts on the lunar surface; experiments to be performed on samples selected and brought back by the crews; and instruments to be emplaced by the astronauts and left on the moon to transmit data to earth. 31 A point that seriously concerned the Sonett committee was the background and training of the lunar explorers. As a basic requirement, the group suggested sufficient scientific judgment and maturity to recognize and act appropriately upon unexpected phenomena. They noted that scientist-astronauts might be caught in a serious conflict between acquiring proficiency in spacecraft operation and maintaining their skills in research 32 - a question that was to complicate relations between the science community and NASA's operations experts for the next 10 years. Sonett's committee submitted a draft report in early July 1962; its recommendations, considered in the following weeks by the first of NASA's Summer Studies and endorsed by the external scientific community, would form the basis for the initial planning of Apollo's lunar exploration program. Meanwhile, the committee's work, together with the controversy over the content of the Ranger missions, emphasized the desirability of continuous contact between the offices of Space Sciences and Manned Space Flight on scientific matters. The experience in developing the scientific exercises carried out by the Mercury astronauts showed that overlapping responsibilities requiring close supervision would

35 develop when science went aboard manned spacecraft, and some kind of formal liaison needed to be established. Homer Newell moved to provide coordination in September 1962 when he proposed to establish a Joint Working Group to replace the ad hoc arrangements that were proving cumbersome. The basic tasks of this group would be to recommend to manned space flight planners a detailed program of scientific exploration, and to suggest to the Office of Space Sciences a program of data acquisition to ensure that Apollo's needs were met. It would also keep the field centers and outside scientists informed of the science programs planned for manned space flight. In carrying out its functions, the group would have the implicit responsibility of assuring that NASA's interface with the scientific community remained where it belonged - within the Office of Space Sciences - and to assure that each program office's projects were maximally responsive to the interests of the other. The group's chairman was to be assigned to OSS for administrative purposes but functionally would be a member of both offices, reporting to the Lunar and Planetary Programs Office in OSS and the Office of Systems Studies in OMSF. 33 Newell would later remark that this official "had two bosses to try to satisfy, which is universally recognized as unsatisfactory" 34 ; but no better alternative seemed available. To chair this Working Group, Newell appointed Eugene M. Shoemaker, a geologist from the U.S. Geological Survey who had recently been assigned for a one-year stint to NASA from the Survey's Astrogeology Branch. Shoemaker had received his doctorate from Princeton under Harry H. Hess, chairman of the Space Science Board from 1962 to 1968 and an enthusiastic promoter of space science. 35 Since October 1961 Shoemaker had been a co-investigator for the television experiment on Ranger. 36 Having been a space enthusiast since pre-sputnik days, he had consciously fashioned his professional career with an eye to becoming a scientist-astronaut. 37 Although he never realized that ambition, for seven years starting in 1962 he would contribute to the design of Apollo's lunar surface activities and help to train the men who would be his surrogates on the moon. For the first several months Shoemaker's new job took him into a tangle of uncharted responsibilities and unclear jurisdictions. At Headquarters, Newell's Office of Space Sciences had asserted its responsibility for all of NASA's science, manned or unmanned; in the opinion of many scientists in OSS, neither the Office of Manned Space Flight nor the Manned Spacecraft Center had a staff qualified to manage scientific experiments, but both were considering adding their own science people. 38 Newell and his staff expected to plan and develop the manned science program and to help select and train the astronauts. The Office of Manned Space Flight, foreseeing the many complex interactions that such divided responsibility would require, felt that it was simply not feasible to allow anything - even the science - to be managed by another office. 39 When scientists showed interest in the Mercury project, the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) had quickly moved to establish a Mercury Scientific Experiments Panel to screen proposed scientific observations and prevent any interference with the program's primary purposes. 40 Shoemaker spent much of 1962 devising a structure for the working group and soliciting support from the centers. 41 Toward the end of the year he recommended to Newell that the group should comprise an executive board and two panels: one on data requirements generated by OMSF, the other on scientific missions recommended by OSS for manned space flight. The executive board would recommend projects to the respective directors (Holmes and Newell). 42 It would, however, neither initiate nor manage specific scientific projects

36 In the first months of 1963 Homer Newell moved steadily to bring manned space science under his office's direction. He also began a campaign to persuade the Manned Spacecraft Center that science was something more than a means of acquiring the data required to design their spacecraft. 44 Shoemaker, who had been urging MSC to start training astronauts in geology, had found a few receptive minds at the Houston center - among them Max Faget, director of engineering and development - who understood that "it wouldn't look very good if we went to the moon and didn't have something to do when we got there." 45 In late March, Faget drafted a letter for MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth's signature, formally requesting the U.S. Geological Survey to assign six of its scientists to the Houston center. Newell had paved the way for this cooperation in informal discussions with the Survey's director, who agreed to Gilruth's request. 46 Newell saw no need to establish a geological competence in NASA, and both he and Shoemaker preferred to have the Geological Survey staff the Apollo science program rather than geologists hired by MSC. Meanwhile Newell and Holmes, anticipating a need for increased cooperation as Project Gemini progressed, were negotiating a formal division of responsibility for manned science projects between their offices. Newell insisted that the Office of Space Sciences had the responsibility to solicit, select, and approve all of NASA's scientific experiments; Holmes similarly asserted the Office of Manned Space Flight's responsibility to approve any hardware that went into a manned spacecraft and any procedure that affected the flight plan. Between the selection of an experiment and its execution on a flight was a large area where responsibility for funding and management of design, fabrication, and integration into the spacecraft of the scientific instruments had to be worked out. After considerable negotiation, deputies for Newell and Holmes signed a memorandum of agreement on July 25, 1963, spelling out the responsibilities of their two offices. Planning and development of all manned space science projects was assigned to the Office of Space Sciences, as well as any research and development necessary to support them. This meant that OSS would select the experiments and principal investigators and undertake preliminary development of the necessary instruments, in consultation with the Office of Manned Space Flight and the appropriate field center. OMSF agreed to develop and integrate flight hardware and work the scientific objectives into mission plans, usually acting through the Manned Spacecraft Center. OSS took on the job of formulating a science training program for the astronauts, which OMSF would conduct. Newell's office would also establish the scientific qualifications for scientist-astronauts (though none had yet been selected) and would participate in selection of scientists for astronaut training. Each office would budget the funds for its part of experiment development. Fabrication, testing, and installation of the flight instruments would be supervised by the same team that monitored its design and early development. 47 This agreement proved to be about as workable an arrangement as possible, given the division of responsibility inherent in the Headquarters organization. With minor changes, it governed OSS-OMSF relations in manned space science throughout the Apollo program. While the new agreement was being worked out, Newell reorganized Shoemaker's working group as the Manned Space Science Division on July 30, The new division reported to both program offices as before, but at a higher level, and it would be the focus of OSS's management of manned

37 science experiments. Shoemaker, however, did not stay to direct the lunar science program from this position. When his tour of duty with NASA ended in November 1963 he returned to the Geological Survey to continue his work with Ranger and Surveyor. He was succeeded by Willis B. Foster, who had served in the Pentagon as Deputy Assistant Director for Research in the Directorate of Defense Research and Engineering. 48 Reorganizing Around Apollo The establishment of the Manned Space Sciences Division coincided with a major reorganization of Headquarters. From 1961 to November 1963 the field centers reported to the Associate Administrator but might be conducting projects under the authority of any or all of the Headquarters program offices. Under the new organization each center reported to one of three program offices, the heads of which were now designated Associate Administrators for Manned Space Flight, for Space Science and Applications,* and for Advanced Research and Technology. This change greatly simplified the lines of authority between the program offices and the centers, as well as freeing NASA's three top managers to attend to matters of broader concern. The greater autonomy of the program offices, however, tended to make them more self-sufficient and parochial and to make interoffice cooperation more cumbersome. 49 In September 1963 Brainerd Holmes, who had steered the lunar landing program through some of its most critical decisions, left NASA to return to private industry. His replacement was George E. Mueller. Headquarters scientists did not know what to expect from the new chief of manned space flight, but they could hardly anticipate less consideration than Holmes had given their projects. One historian has characterized Holmes as "masterful, abrasive, and determined to get what he needed to carry out his assignment, even at the expense of other programs." 50 Considering the state of the manned space flight organization when Holmes took charge and the development problems that had to be solved to put men on the moon by 1970, it is hardly surprising that he gave science such a low priority; but the science community was not inclined to accept that as an excuse for his indifference to their suggestions. Mueller, like Holmes, was an electrical engineer. He had managed Air Force missile and space development projects for Space Technology Laboratories, Inc., for five years before joining NASA. But he also held a Ph.D. in physics, and his experience included several years of teaching and research at Ohio State University 51 ; it was at least conceivable that his attitude toward science might be different from Holmes's. No less committed than Holmes to the success of Apollo and no less determined to have his own way, 52 Mueller came to Washington about the time the public debates concerning Apollo and the space science program had subsided [see Chapter 1], so he was in a position to see that it would be politically advantageous to accommodate the scientists if he could. Mueller moved quickly to reorganize his office and strengthen its lines of communication with the centers. He also brought in several high-ranking Air Force officers familiar with his management style to fill key positions in OMSF. One of Mueller's first priorities was to evaluate the general health of the Apollo project. He detailed two experienced Headquarters officials to study the progress of its components and estimate its chances for success by After surveying current plans in light of recent progress and anticipated funding, they reported that in their judgment the project had about one chance * Newell's responsibilities were extended to encompass the space applications program (communications, weather, and navigation projects), which since 1961 had been managed by the Office of Applications (abolished in the reorganisation)

38 in ten of meeting its stated goal. Mueller then imposed some drastic changes on the Saturn program: he canceled the scheduled earth orbital test flights of the Apollo spacecraft on the Saturn I and ordered that the Saturn V be tested "all up" - with all stages and systems complete and functioning from the first test flight - rather than proving each stage's readiness separately. 53 Then, while the centers adjusted to their new boss's ways, he turned his attention to the science program. Mueller believed that his office had to have ultimate control over every part of every manned space program, including the science experiments; and by the end of the year he had decided to set up a Manned Space Flight Experiments Board (MSFEB) to review all experiments proposed for manned missions. The board's charter established four categories of experiments (scientific, technological, medical, and Department of Defense** and the channels through which they were to be submitted. Assessment of the scientific merit of a proposed experiment was left to the sponsoring agency. The board would assess the operational feasibility of each proposal by referring the experiment plans to the appropriate field center (usually MSC) for review. In case the board could not agree on whether to fly any particular experiment, Mueller, as chairman, could make the final decision. Experiments accepted by the MSFEB and assigned a priority comprised a fist from which those to be flown on a particular mission were to be taken. Mueller assigned responsibility for developing the flight hardware for each experiment to the field center involved (again, normally MSC), which appointed a technical monitor to work with the experiment's principal investigator in developing the flight-qualified instruments. 54 Not everyone was happy with the new experiments board; some space science officials protested that Mueller was usurping their prerogatives to select and evaluate experiments. 55 Experimenters complained that Mueller's system took too much time and paperwork and unduly increased the cost of manned space science. Nonetheless, Mueller had to ensure that a proposed experiment was compatible with the spacecraft in all respects and that it could be carried out without interfering with mission operations. As long as OMSF was still learning how to get people to the moon and back, science took second place when it came aboard at all. 1963: Progress and Prospects As 1963 ended, manned space flight officials could look back at two and a half years of intense activity and considerable progress. Project Mercury had flown four earth-orbital missions, the last one remaining aloft for 34 hours. A new project, Gemini, was under way; its objectives were to explore some of the problems posed by the lunar landing mission, especially rendezvous. 56 Apollo managers had made several critical decisions, including the choice of lunar-orbit rendezvous, the basic design of the two lunar spacecraft, and the configuration of the three-stage Saturn V lunar launch vehicle. Nine of the 12 men who would ultimately walk on the moon were in training for their part in the program. A new NASA Administrator, James E. Webb, had taken control, and the agency had been restructured for better support of Apollo. The new president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, had more experience with the space program than any other politician in Washington and would remain committed to it despite severe criticism and unforeseen tragedy. ** For the involvement of DoD in the early manned space flight programs, see Barton C. Hacker and James M. Grimwood, On the Shoulders of Titans: A History of Project Gemini, NASA SP-4203 (Washington, 1977), pp , and W. Fred Boone, "NASA Office of Defense Affairs: The First Five Years," NASA Historical Report HHR-32 (Washington, 1970)

39 The dominant position Apollo occupied in the space program was indicated by the changes imposed on Ranger and Surveyor in 1962 and Space science officials tried hard to preserve the priority of science in both projects, but with limited success. After thorough examination of the lunar exploration projects, the Space Science and Space Vehicle Panels of the President's Science Advisory Committee came down on the side of the Office of Manned Space Flight. In a mid-october report they concluded that Ranger and Surveyor must be planned so that the first few successful missions would provide the information engineers needed to design the lunar landing craft, and that those projects' technical management and funding should be integrated with Apollo's. Notwithstanding that concession, the panels insisted that after the first couple of landings science should determine the content of lunar missions and that the lunar surface activities must be planned with the full participation of the scientific community. 57 Lunar science planning had begun, in the broadest sense, by the end of 1963, but how much science could actually be done during Apollo was still a question. Planners were contemplating as many as 10 lunar missions; what could be done on each one would have to await events. If the first lunar landing attempt did not succeed, and several attempts had to be made, science might have to wait. As 1964 began, Headquarters was preparing to deal with the details of the lunar missions: choosing landing sites, deciding what specific experiments would be done on the moon, and selecting the experimenters

40 Notes 1. R. Cargill Hall, Lunar Impact: A History of Project Ranger, NASA SP-4210 (Washington 1977), pp Stephen G. Brush, "Nickel for Your Thoughts: Urey and the Origin of the Moon," Science 217 (1982): Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, Scientists' Testimony on Space Goals, Hearings, 88/1, June 10, 1963, pp. 51, Homer E. Newell, Beyond the Atmosphere: Early Years of Space Science, NASA SP-4211 (Washington, 1980), pp Hall, Lunar Impact, p Ibid., pp. 5, 17; Clayton R. Koppes, JPL and the American Space Program: A History of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1982), pp Hall, Lunar Impact, pp. 18, Ibid., p NASA, Fifth Semiannual Report to Congress, October 1, 1960, Through June 30, 1961 (Washington, 1962), pp For a discussion of some of the problems faced by the engineers in ensuring reliability, see Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., James M. Grimwood, and Charles C. Alexander, This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury, NASA SP-4201 (Washington, 1966), pp Newell, Beyond the Atmosphere, p Scientists' Testimony on Space Goals, pp. 1 10, 244; Newell, "The Mission of Man in Space," address to Symposium on Protection Against Radiation Hazards in Space, Gatlinburg, Tenn., Nov. 5, 1962, text. 13. R. L. F. Boyd, "In Space: Instruments or Man?" International Science and Technology, May 1965, pp Boyd, a British astronomer with substantial experience in unmanned space science projects, presents the archetypal sky scientist's view - supremely confident of the potential of computerized systems and condescendingly contemptuous of the capability of man. 14. Hall, Lunar Impact, p Ibid., pp Swenson, Grimwood, and Alexander, This New Ocean, pp Joseph F. Shea to Dir., Aerospace Medicine and Dir., Spacecraft & Flight Missions, "Selection

41 and Training of Apollo Crew Members," Mar. 29, Courtney G. Brooks, James M. Grimwood, and Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., Chariots for Apollo: A History of Manned Lunar Spacecraft, NASA SP-4205 (Washington, 1979), chap Ivan D. Ertel and Mary Louise Morse, The Apollo Spacecraft: A Chronology, vol. I, NASA SP (Washington, 1969), p "Draft Statement on Scientific Training of the Astronaut for Consideration of the Lunar Exploration Committee," signed by G. McDonald, M. Ewing, T. Gold, E. Stuhlinger, H. Hess, H. Brown, and R. Jastrow (members or consultants of the Lunar Sciences Subcommittee of the Space Sciences Steering Committee), no date [ca. Sept. 1961]. 21. House Committee on Science and Astronautics, Subcommittee on Space Sciences and Applications, 1963 NASA Authorization, Hearings on H.R , 87/2, pt. 4, pp , , Hall, Lunar Impact, p Newell, Beyond the Atmosphere, chap. 12, discusses the relations of OSS to the external scientific community, including the scientists' insistence on noninterference. For additional examples, see Daniel S. Greenberg, The Politics of Pure Science (New York: The New American Library, 1967), pp. 85, 112, 114, 132, 135, Hall, Lunar Impact, p OMSF, "Requirements for Data in Support of Project Apollo," issue no. 1, June 15, Hall, Lunar Impact, p. 162; Koppes, JPL and the American Space Program, p Shea, "Selection and Training of Apollo Crew Members," Mar. 29, 1962; W. A. Lee to Dr. J. F. Shea, "Ad Hoc Working Group on Apollo Scientific Experiments and Training (sic)," Apr. 13, L. D. Jaffe, "Minutes: Ad Hoc Working Group on Apollo Scientific Experiments and Training, 27 March 1962," Mar. 30, Jaffe, "Minutes: Ad Hoc Working Group on Apollo Scientific Experiments and Training, 17 April 1962," Apr. 20, 1962, with attachment: Lee, "Guidelines from the Office of Manned Space Flight." 30. Lee, "Guidelines From the Office of Manned Space Flight." 31. Jaffe, "Minutes: Ad Hoc Working Group on Apollo Scientific Experiments and Training, 23 April 1962," no date. 32. Ibid

42 33. Homer E. Newell and D. Brainerd Holmes, memo for the Assoc. Adm., "Establishment of a Joint OSS/ OMSF Working Group," Oct. 22, Newell, Beyond the Atmosphere, p NASA Hq., News Release , "Unit to Coordinate Manned and Unmanned Space Flight," Nov.27, Hall, Lunar Impact, p Shoemaker interview, Houston, Mar. 17, Shoemaker interview; Shoemaker, "Report for week of November 12," Dec. 13, Lee to Shea, "OSS Participation in Apollo," Sept. 22, Swenson, Grimwood, and Alexander, This New Ocean, pp. 414, 419, ; W. David Compton and Charles D. Benson, Living and Working in Space: A History of Skylab, NASA SP-4208 (Washington, 1983), pp Shoemaker to Dir, Lunar and Planetary Programs and Dir., Systems Studies, "Report for Week of November 12," "Report for Week of November 19," and "Report for Week of November 26," all dated Dec. 13, Shoemaker to Dir., Office of Space Sciences, "Recommended Structure for Manned Space Science Planning Group," Dec. 13, 1962; Shoemaker to Dir., OMSF and Dir., OSS, "Panel Chairmen and Members Recommended for the Manned Space Science Planning Group," Dec. 26, Shoemaker to Dir., Office of Space Sciences, "Recommended Structure...," Dec. 13, 1962; Shoemaker interview; Shoemaker, "Report for Week of November 19," Dec. 13, Newell to Robert Gilruth, Feb. 15, 1963; Newell, "Memorandum to A/Mr. Webb," Mar. 26, Shoemaker interview. 46. Newell, Beyond the Atmosphere, p. 292; Nolan to Gilruth, Apr. 24, "Memorandum of Agreement between Office of Manned Space Flight [and] Office of Space Sciences, Scientific Interfaces," no date; signed by E. M. Cortright July 25, 1963, and J. F. Shea July 26, NASA Release , "NASA Office of Space Science and Applications Organization Detailed," Nov. 18, 1963; Newell, Beyond the Atmosphere, p

43 49. Robert L. Rosholt, An Administrative History of NASA, , NASA SP-4101 (Washington, 1966), pp ; Arnold S. Levine, Managing NASA in the Apollo Era, NASA SP-4102 (Washington, 1982), pp. 5-6, Levine, Managing NASA, p House Committee on Science and Astronautics, 1965 NASA Authorization, Hearings on H.R. 9641, 88/2, pt. 1, pp Levine, Managing NASA, p Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp ; "Apollo Schedule and Cost Evaluation," presentation to George E. Mueller, Sept. 28, 1963, copy in JSC History Office files, box NASA Management Instruction , "Establishment of a Manned Space Flight Experiments Board," Jan. 14, 1964; Compton and Benson, Living and Working in Space, pp Willis B. Foster to Chief, Lunar & Planetary Branch [OSSA], "Establishment of Manned Space Flight Experiments Board," Jan. 9, Barton C. Hacker and James M. Grimwood, On the Shoulders of Titans: A History of Project Gemini, NASA SP-4203 (Washington, 1977). Gemini is, to some degree, the forgotten manned space flight program, yet it was essential in determining that men could survive for as long as two weeks in zero gravity with no serious aftereffects, in proving the techniques of orbital rendezvous and controlled earth landing, and in developing the fuel cell as a power source, besides providing many hours of operational experience for mission control. 57. President's Science Advisory Committee, report by the Space Science and Space Vehicle Panels Donald F. Hornig, chmn.), "Objectives and Means in Lunar Surface Exploration," Oct. 15,

44 3 APOLLO S LUNAR EXPLORATION PLANS Introduction The years from 1963 to 1966 were the busiest of the lunar landing project, no less for science planners than for the spacecraft and rocket builders. After the major decisions made in 1962 provided a basis for planning, the Office of Space Sciences called on its academic advisory bodies to define first the broad outlines of a program of lunar and planetary exploration, then more specific plans for the moon, based on the clearer definition of the Apollo project that was emerging during the period. Scientific Interest in the Moon In the two and a half centuries since Galileo first turned his crude telescope on the moon, astronomers have mapped its surface features, measured the height of its mountains and the depth of its craters, and calculated its size, mass, and orbital parameters with increasing accuracy over the years. Even so, the best optical telescopes, under the best observing conditions, could not show any detail smaller than about 300 meters across (1,000 feet, about the size of the capitol building in Washington); so information concerning the nature and texture of the surface was limited. To the telescopic observer, the moon's surface shows two distinct types of regions: 1. the maria (Latin="seas"; singular mare) - dark, apparently smooth, and roughly circular areas extending over hundreds of kilometers; and 2. the highlands, mostly mountainous regions much lighter in color. Among the most striking features are the craters - tens of thousands of circular depressions ranging in diameter from 180 miles (290 kilometers) down to the limit of telescopic resolution. Most large craters have high walls and a depressed floor, and many have a central peak or ridge. Some are centers from which streaks of light-colored material (rays) extend for considerable distances. Besides the craters, the lunar

45 surface shows domes, ridges, and rilles - long, narrow channels resembling dry watercourses - that run for several kilometers. 1 Measurements of reflected light indicate that the lunar surface is covered with a layer of finely pulverized material. Airless and arid, the lunar surface is subjected to temperature changes of more than 200 degrees C (360 degrees F) during the course of a lunar day. 2 For decades these features fascinated astronomers and cosmologists, who have generated volumes of speculation as to the moon's origin and history. Three hypotheses attracted adherents: one, that the moon was spun off from a molten proto-earth; a second, that the moon was formed in a separate event and later captured by the earth; and the third, that the earth and moon formed at about the same time in the same region of space (this hypothesis was considered somewhat less likely than the first two). Those who believed the moon was formed by accretion of smaller bodies generally supposed that during its evolution the moon, like the earth, went through a molten stage in which its components were chemically fractionated, with iron and nickel being separated from the rocky minerals as the moon cooled. A smaller body of opinion held that the moon never grew large enough to be completely melted by the heat generated as its component particles coalesced, and would not be chemically differentiated. 3 All of these assumptions led to difficulties when examined in light of accepted celestial mechanics. If the moon separated from the earth at some early stage in its formation, its orbital plane should lie in the plane of the earth's equator, but it does not. If, on the other hand, the moon was formed elsewhere in the solar system, its capture by the earth would be highly improbable and its present orbit difficult to account for. Finally, if the earth and moon were formed out of the sane primordial matter by any mechanism, it is hard to explain the fact that the earth is nearly half again as dense as the moon. 4 None of the hypotheses could be proved or disproved on the basis of the evidence available from visual observation alone. Both led to logical conclusions concerning the chemical composition and internal structure of the moon that could not be tested. Scientists who held that the moon was once molten regarded the mafia as massive lava flows from volcanoes or fissures in the lunar crust, similar to known examples on earth, and pointed to the domes and certain craters that are much like well known terrestrial volcanic structures. Advocates of the "cold moon" theory considered the maria to be the solidified remains of large bodies of molten rock created by collision with meteorites or asteroids, or perhaps by localized heating due to some other cause. 5 The origin of lunar craters was a matter for debate. Some had undoubtedly been produced by impacts of cosmic debris, but strong arguments could be made that others were volcanic in origin. It was generally accepted that the moon's surface, unaffected by wind and water, preserved a record of cosmic events which the earth must also have undergone; on earth, however, the effects have been obliterated by erosion. 6 Crucial to the confirmation of either hypothesis, or to the creation of an alternative, was information that could be obtained only by direct examination of the moon. Analysis of samples of the lunar surface would show whether the moon was chemically similar to the earth and whether the lunar material had ever been extensively melted. Measurement of the flow of heat from the moon's interior to the surface would show whether it was still cooling from a molten state. Other important investigations included the seismic properties of the moon, which could reveal its interior structure. Some of this information could be provided by instruments, perhaps including remotely controlled samplers capable of returning lunar material to earth. But some tasks, such as examining the moon's surface and selecting samples on

46 the basis of that examination, could better be done by humans. With the advent of the space age, lunar scientists could look forward to sending instruments to the lunar surface; only after the decision to land people on the moon could they hope to send a trained explorer. Planning for Lunar Exploration Homer Newell set lunar exploration planning in motion in 1962 with the appointment of the Sonett committee on Apollo scientific experiments and training [see Chapter 2]. After three months of consultation with leading experts in the scientific fields related to lunar exploration, the committee outlined its conception of the scope of Apollo lunar science. The primary objectives were examination of the lunar surface in the immediate area of the landed spacecraft, geologic mapping of the landing area, investigation of the moon's interior by means of emplaced instruments, studies of the lunar atmosphere, and radio astronomy from the lunar surface. 7 No specific experiments were recommended, but the criteria used in developing the objectives limited the possibilities. The experiments should be scientifically important and feasible, possible only on the lunar surface and only with a human on the mission, and likely to lead to further scientific and technological development. 8 A week after the Sonett committee issued its draft report, NASA committed Apollo to lunar-orbit rendezvous. This decision, probably the most thoroughly debated of the entire program, directly affected the scope of lunar science. The mission mode determined how many men and how much equipment could be landed on the moon. Whereas the other possible modes (direct ascent and earth-orbit rendezvous) contemplated a single large spacecraft that would land with its entire three-person crew on the moon, lunar-orbit rendezvous would put down a separate specialized landing craft and a crew of two. 9 With that decision made, Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., asked Newell to present several questions to NASA's outside scientific advisers for discussion. What should be the preferred scientific objectives of the earliest lunar landings? Would the acquisition of scientific data require more than two persons on the moon at the same time? Were there sufficient scientific reasons to establish a semipermanent station on the moon for extended exploration? Advice on these questions would be important in establishing policy with respect to lunar science and could have direct influence on the design of the lunar landing craft. 10 An appropriate forum for such a discussion was already in session that summer - the first summer study conducted by the Space Science Board, meeting on the campus of the State University of Iowa [see Chapter 2]. Manned space science programs were not the study's primary concern, but two working groups, one on lunar and planetary exploration and one on the scientific role of humans in space, provided opportunities to examine the plans for Apollo's experiments and put some of the scientists' concerns on record. 11 At the start of the summer study the chairman of the Space Science Board, Lloyd V. Berkner, instructed the participants that their advice on the existence of a national space program and the division of effort among its projects was not sought. Nonetheless, because of mounting fears for what it would do to NASA's space science budget, Apollo was never far below the surface, and objections to the manned programs were repeatedly voiced. Berkner, Newell, and others tried to steer the discussions into more

47 productive channels, such as how the capability being developed for Apollo might be exploited for scientific purposes; but many of the participants could not be dissuaded from protesting the priority assigned to the lunar landing project. 12 Seamans's questions were aired, in substance at least, and the summer study's final report contained recommendations concerning the points he had raised. The working group on the scientific role of humans in space endorsed the findings of the Sonett committee but recommended that experiments that only used the moon as a base for observation (e.g., radio astronomy) be relegated to later missions. It found that there was indeed a valid scientific requirement for a lunar surface laboratory for long-term investigations. The working group on lunar and planetary exploration reached similar conclusions and called for increased emphasis in the Ranger and Surveyor programs on providing necessary engineering information for Apollo. 13 Of much more concern to the summer study participants was the scientific competence of the men who would land on the moon. Acknowledging a continuing need for astronauts whose primary skills were in spacecraft operation, the study report nonetheless urged the inclusion of a professional scientist among the crew of the first lunar landing mission. To ensure that such a person would be ready for the first landing, NASA should recruit qualified scientists at once and begin training them as astronauts. The science community insisted that these scientist-astronauts be given the means to maintain their scientific competence while acquiring piloting skills. To that end, a space institute should be established convenient to the astronaut training center, a facility "of the very highest scientific calibre [maintaining] liaison with major centers of research in the space sciences [and functioning] as a graduate school offering advanced degrees in various fields of science." It should either be operated "under contract with a major university" or administered by "that office of NASA responsible for scientific research and planning," 14 (i.e., the Office of Space Sciences). This "space university" proposal - which Newell later remarked never had the slightest chance of being accepted by NASA 15 - was soon abandoned, but the demand for scientist-astronauts was reiterated by the science community right down to the end of the Apollo project. With the modifications made by the Iowa summer study and with the imprimatur of the National Academy of Sciences, the Sonett committee's recommendations formed the framework of Apollo's initial lunar science planning. Shortly after its establishment in July 1963 the Manned Space Science Division promulgated the first scientific guidelines for Apollo, which reflected this preparatory work. The primary scientific activity was to be the study of the moon itself. First priority among the various lunar studies was given to geologic mapping, followed by collection of samples for return to earth and emplacement of instruments to return data by telemetry. 16 Headquarters-Center Relations in Science While working out arrangements for cooperation with the Office of Manned Space Flight, Newell and his staff also had to establish working relationships with the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC). In early 1963 MSC's only experience with science had been the visual and photographic experiments made on the first three Mercury orbital missions. 17 These somewhat hurriedly improvised "experiments" produced some useful data, but mainly they served to show that people could conduct scientific exercises in orbit. 18 They also showed that both scientists and engineers had much to learn about each other's objectives and methods. One result was that MSC acquired a reputation among space scientists

48 of being at best indifferent and at worst hostile toward scientific investigations. 19 Eugene Shoemaker, always an enthusiastic supporter of manned space flight, was "utterly dismayed" by the attitude of the MSC representatives at the Iowa summer study: "we don't need your help; don't bother us." This experience led Shoemaker to agree to spend a year at NASA Headquarters to try to establish a lunar science program; unless someone concentrated on that task, lunar science might never get done at all, because "there was no planning for it [and] no program for it." 20 Some of MSC's indifference to science was the predictable consequence of the formidable development tasks the center faced and its intense concentration in 1962 on learning to operate in space. But Newell felt that the Houston center's engineers and managers (also engineers, for the most part) simply did not appreciate what space science and manned space flight could do for each other. Houston had no scientific research under way; the few scientists who worked there were mostly inexperienced in research and served almost entirely in support roles, providing data to the engineers. Newell spent considerable effort in 1963 trying to create a more receptive attitude toward science at MSC. 21 One of Shoemaker's first accomplishments after he came to Headquarters was to persuade MSC to expand its small Space Environment Division, a branch of the Engineering and Development Directorate that existed mainly to collect environmental data affecting the design of spacecraft and mission plans. One geologist joined the division in 1963, and a team of specialists from the U.S. Geological Survey was assigned later that same year. Their functions were to set up a research and training program in geology, develop a model of the lunar surface for use by the spacecraft designers and mission planners, assist in the evaluation of lunar scientific instruments, and develop plans for geologic field work on the moon. 22 Lunar surface science, though important, was only part of the larger question of manned space science, and Newell, looking ahead to the earth-orbital flights of Gemini and Apollo, wanted to establish a place for science on those missions as well. The agreement worked out between Newell and Brainerd Holmes for developing experiments called for the appropriate manned space flight center (usually MSC) to oversee the development of experiment hardware once the basic design had been worked out by the Office of Space Sciences. As OSS saw it, this would require more scientific competence than the Houston center had. Up to mid-1963 MSC's concern for experiments had been limited to assuring that they fit into the spacecraft and the flight plan and did not compromise a mission, a task carried out by an Experiments Coordination Office in the Flight Operations Division. 23 Now, OSS saw a need to establish what would amount to a space sciences division at Houston. Discussions with MSC produced agreement that the Space Environment Division would be the nucleus of the prospective science branch. 24 The Office of Space Sciences and the Manned Spacecraft Center spent the rest of 1963 defining their relationship. Newell firmly maintained his office's responsibility for all of NASA's science programs, while MSC occasionally displayed reluctance, to say the least, to accept direction from Headquarters. 25 In the old days of NACA the field laboratories had enjoyed considerable independence in the conduct of their programs, and all of MSC's top managers were old NACA hands. At times they seemed inclined to insist on running their programs their way, including the science. But by the end of the year MSC had agreed in principle to set up a scientific program manager on Director Robert Gilruth's immediate staff, and Headquarters and center elements were beginning to work out a description of that person's responsibilities

49 Lunar Surface Experiments Early in 1964 the Office of Space Science and Applications (OSSA) began to define the Apollo lunar science project more narrowly. Rather than issue a request for experiment proposals to the scientific community at large, which was the usual procedure for soliciting experiments, Newell and his manned space flight counterpart George Mueller agreed that initially a few selected scientists should be called upon to identify the most important experiments within the areas agreed on by the Sonett committee and the Iowa summer study. A representative of Headquarters's Manned Space Science Division and the chairman of the Space Science Board then compiled a list of experts who met on January 30 to begin the process. 27 The first investigations agreed on by this planning group comprised geology (field geology, petrography and mineralogy, and sample collection), geochemistry, and geophysics (seismology, magnetic measurements, heat-flow measurements, and gravity measurements). For each area the group suggested several prominent scientists to work out detailed experiment plans. 28 In April the first Apollo science planning teams, groups of experts in subdisciplines of the earth sciences, began meeting to define more specifically the lunar surface experiments and instruments. Later, teams would be established for lunar atmospheric studies and biosciences. 29 At Houston, meanwhile, mission planners had started defining the lunar landing mission in detail. In late 1963 the first set of operational ground rules was established, listing mission objectives and constraints and identifying critical points where a flight might have to be aborted or diverted to an alternate mission in case of failure of some essential system. Using these ground rules and the latest available weight and performance data for the launch vehicle and spacecraft, planners then prepared the "reference trajectory," a detailed description of the mission from liftoff to splashdown.* For planning purposes the reference trajectory listed 10 landing sites within a zone 85 miles (137 kilometers) wide and 1,480 miles (2,380 kilometers) long stretching along the equator on the moon's visible side. It assumed that the lunar landing module would stay on the moon for 24 hours. 30 Science and mission planning came together in mid-june of 1964 when Houston hosted a lunar landing symposium to give each group a look at the other's preliminary plans. MSC representatives presented their concepts of a lunar landing mission, described the two spacecraft and what they could be expected to carry to and from the moon, and outlined the current astronaut training course. Members of the Apollo science planning teams sketched out their tentative plans for surface activities and experiments. After four days of discussion, both groups went home to refine their concepts. 31 The June symposium defined the operational bounds within which the lunar science planning teams had to work, and after five more months of deliberation the planning teams' report went to the Office of Space Science and Applications. Distributing the report for comment, Headquarters noted that its recommendations would eventually become the basis for a lunar exploration science program definition document on which final instrument and experiment designs would be based. First, however, OSSA was planning to have the report discussed at another summer study, scheduled for * The reference trajectory was one of the most important mission planning documents. It enabled flight planners to evaluate the effect of changes in spacecraft weight, propulsion capability, mission requirements, etc., on every phase of the mission. An initial reference trajectory was often based on many assumptions, but as test data and operational experience accumulated, the trajectory was updated

50 As the planning teams saw it, the ultimate objective of the lunar science program was simply the same as that of all science: to add to human knowledge. More specifically, lunar studies could lead to a better understanding of the solar system and its origin, of primary forces that shaped the earth, and of geological processes whose effects have been obscured on earth by erosion and other secondary processes not operating on the moon. (Making the obligatory gesture toward practical results, the report mentioned that lunar studies "may have direct bearing towards more intelligent search for mineral resources on Earth," though it did not specify how.) The larger objectives, however, could scarcely be met in the short times the early Apollo missions would stay on the lunar surface. Really productive lunar studies required more time on the moon, greater mobility for the astronauts, and logistic support. 33 For the approved Apollo missions the planning teams stressed field work, sampling, and emplacement of instruments, all planned to yield the maximum information in the time available. Instruments relaying data by telemetry were preferred for measurement of gravity, magnetism, magnetic phenomena, and seismic studies. The geochemistry and bioscience planning teams emphasized the importance of bringing back the greatest possible weight of lunar material in the form of carefully selected and documented samples for laboratory study. Eugene Shoemaker's field geology team stressed visual observation and panoramic photography from the lunar module, followed by surface traverses during which the astronauts would collect samples, emplace instruments, and describe the important geologic features of the landing area. Both the geology and geophysics teams listed the tools and instruments that should be taken along, as well as preliminary estimates of weight, volume, power, and telemetry requirements. The report included tentative operations plans for several lunar surface missions, taking into account operational constraints and certain contingencies that might require changing plans during the mission. 34 With these recommendations in hand, Headquarters and MSC began making plans for managing the experiments. In mid-january 1965 Houston's Space Environment Division appointed interim coordinators for lunar surface experiments. 35 At the end of the month manned space flight director George Mueller conducted a program review at which he called for a series of studies to evaluate several program management alternatives for Apollo science, from experiment development to handling of lunar samples. 36 Discussions between Headquarters and MSC continued during the spring; Newell's Office of Space Science and Applications continued to hope for the establishment of a separate science organization at Houston. 37 Progress was slowed somewhat by OSSA's apparent difficulty in working out its internal lines of authority. 38 In late February Newell and Mueller met to formulate policy for managing and funding science experiments in manned space flight. An afternoon's discussion produced agreement on a division of responsibility only slightly different from that adopted by Newell and Brainerd Holmes two years earlier [see Chapter 2]. Newell's Office of Space Science and Applications would publicize the science opportunities in the manned programs, solicit experiment proposals, and make the initial selection. After further evaluation, which would include constructing a "breadboard" model of the instrument to demonstrate its feasibility, OSSA would select experiments and experimenters and arrange for construction of prototype instruments. Mueller's Office of Manned Space Flight would then develop flight-qualified instruments, integrate them into the spacecraft, work the experiments into the flight plan, and collect the data produced in flight. OSSA would arrange for distribution, analysis, and dissemination of the data. Deputies for Newell and Mueller formalized details of this agreement later in the year

51 MSC and OSSA worked for several months on a procurement plan for Apollo's lunar surface experiments, submitting it to Mueller in May Mueller decided that a two-phase procurement was advisable, the first phase to better define the instrument package and the second to build the instruments. Several contractors would be selected to conduct the definition studies and one of them would be picked to build the instrument package. 40 In June Houston sent out requests for proposals to conduct six-month definition studies for a lunar surface experiments package. Nine companies responded, and three** were selected in early August. 41 Woods Hole and Falmouth Conferences, Summer 1965 In the summer of 1965 the Space Science Board again convened a conference to consider NASA's plans for space research. The Iowa summer study three years before had reviewed current programs and recommended changes of emphasis; the 1965 study at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, was charged with recommending directions and priorities for the next 10 to 20 years. The major topics considered were lunar and planetary exploration, astronomy, and the role of humans in space exploration.42 The Woods Hole conference report made many detailed recommendations in individual areas of research. Space research, the study found, required the use of ground-based observations as well as satellites, sounding rockets, and balloons. Throughout, the report stressed balance: between manned and unmanned programs, between lunar and planetary exploration, and between ground-based studies and research in space. The salient conclusions of the study were easily summarized. Planetary exploration was judged to be the most rewarding scientific objective for the post-apollo period, with Mars being the most interesting target. Concerning humans in space, the participants agreed that "The distinction between manned and unmanned programs is an artificial one; scientific objectives should be the determining factors." But before people could be dispatched on missions to the planets, "an orbiting research facility for the study of long-term effects of space flight is essential." 43 The 1965 conference was somewhat more sanguine than the 1962 study concerning the role of humans in space science and somewhat more tolerant of the Apollo program. The working group on the role of man noted that Few scientists would attempt to justify the entire cost of developing manned space flight solely on the basis of its "scientific value;" however, most scientists would agree that this capability, when developed, should be utilized for scientific purposes whenever it seems possible to do so. The group did not concede that people could be replaced by instruments in every imaginable case: Manned intervention [in an unmanned system] increases reliability through the possibility of extending the lifetime of spaceborne equipment almost indefinitely by means of repair and replacement.... Man greatly increases the flexibility of the system, for he can decide [how best] to use an instrument [and] can make alterations or improvements in the instrument itself. Data transmission can... be virtually eliminated for manned experiments, and the design of an instrument can be simplified.... ** Houston Division of Bendix Corp., Ann Arbor, Mich.; Space-General Corp., El Monte, Calif.; and TRW Systems Carp., Redondo Beach, Calif

52 Not only that, but if the presence of man in the system were already considered essential, the scientist would assign many scientific tasks to man because of the greater reliability and flexibility he would bring to the system. 44 On the question of selection and training of scientists for space missions, the scientists were of much the same mind as those in 1962: For some tasks - those requiring scientific insight - it would seem better to have a scientist possessing judgment, experience, and imagination and to train him as an astronaut to the extent required. Again conceding that test pilots had the edge in some areas, the working group nonetheless concluded that the astronaut selection and training program [should] take into account progress in manned space flight. Successes so far* may be viewed as evidence that it may be possible to relax the present high physical standards at a pace faster than has yet been contemplated. 45 Concerning the lunar exploration program, the Woods Hole study report confined itself to defining the major scientific questions in lunar exploration. Three basic problems should be explored: structure and processes of the lunar interior, the composition and structure of the moon's surface and the processes that have modified it, and the sequence of events by which the moon has arrived at its present configuration. As guidelines for exploring these problems, the report listed 15 specific scientific questions that should direct lunar exploration, both manned and unmanned [see Appendix 3]. 46 One question that assumed increasing importance as planetary exploration became more realistic was the existence of life forms or their precursors on the moon or the planets. The working group on biology concluded that the evolution of organisms or prebiotic materials was most likely to have occurred on Mars. However, the group affirmed the necessity to avoid contaminating any celestial body, including the moon, with terrestrial organisms or organic materials that might invalidate later experiments attempting to detect life. As to the need for protecting earth from biological contamination by material from the moon, the group believed the hazards were small but that NASA should be safe rather than sorry: "the consequences of misjudgment are potentially catastrophic." 47 Opinion on this point was not unanimous throughout the conference, however, for the working group on lunar exploration noted only a "minor possibility of finding prebiotic material, either buried or in sheltered locations." 48 The Woods Hole conference was, as far as Apollo was concerned, a policy-setting meeting. When it adjourned, many of the participants stayed on at nearby Falmouth for a two-week conference dealing with details of lunar exploration and science on Apollo. The Falmouth conference elaborated on the previous year's work of the Apollo lunar science planning teams in light of plans for manned space flight for the 10 years following the first Apollo landing. As plans then stood, the first few landings - the * Four successful manned flights had been made in the past three years, including two of the two-man Gemini spacecraft

53 exact number was not certain - comprised the Apollo program; it was assumed that these landings would be minimal missions to establish confidence in the Apollo systems. They were to be followed by flights using improved spacecraft that could carry larger payloads and stay longer on the lunar surface.** Ultimately, perhaps in the last few years of the post-apollo period, a lunar base might be available for scientific studies. Falmouth planners structured their discussions around this idealized schedule. 49 At Falmouth, members of the lunar science planning teams collaborated with NASA and academic scientists to take the first steps in detailed scientific operations planning. As specifically as they could, disciplinary working groups laid out their requirements for procedures and equipment. For the first time, an astronaut in training described the mission's essential constraints from the astronaut's point of view, stressing the limitations of space suits, life-support equipment, and operational contingencies (such as an aborted landing). 50 For some scientists this was the first time they had had to consider their own experiments in the context of other scientific work and operational restrictions, and one participant reported a noticeable change in attitudes as the discussions progressed. 51 In its final report the Falmouth conference summarized its recommendations for the early landings, the "post-apollo" (advanced) missions, and the more distant future when a lunar base could be contemplated [see Appendix 3]. Highest priority on the early landings was assigned to returning the greatest number and variety of samples as feasible; emplacement of long-lived surface instruments was next, followed by geologic exploration of the landing area by the astronauts. The early missions could only sample isolated areas of the lunar surface. A survey of the entire moon, plus detailed studies of the equatorial belt, should be the objective of later missions. These advanced missions, five or six landings flown at the rate of one or two per year, should be supported by an unmanned logistics system that would land additional consumable supplies and scientific equipment. Crews might stay as long as 14 days and explore as far as 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the landing site. The additional equipment should include some analytical instruments for on-the-spot discriminatory tests on lunar material, so that astronauts could select a wider variety of samples. Surface transportation should be provided - a wheeled vehicle with a range of 8 to 15 kilometers (5 to 9 miles) and a flying vehicle that could carry 135 kilograms (300 pounds) of instruments from point to point over a 15-kilometer range. With the flying unit, astronauts could secure samples from otherwise inaccessible locations, such as a crater wall. 52 Falmouth provided the best scientific advice NASA could get at the time, and its recommendations formed the basis for the earliest mission planning. It was the first of several iterations of scientific planning that would take place during the rest of the Apollo program. NASA would make every effort to carry out as much of the program as could be done within a changing context of available resources. Progress often seemed intolerably slow to some scientists, 53 but in the end a gratifying proportion of the Falmouth recommendations would appear in mission plans. ** In 1965 plans for manned space flight after Apollo were still in the formative stage. OMSF had conducted several studies on "Apollo Extension Systems" to determine how far the propulsion, life-support, and electrical power systems on the Apollo spacecraft could be upgraded without major redesign. These "extended Apollo" components would be used in missions - earth- and lunar-orbital flights as well as lunar surface missions, lasting from 10 to 45 days - that would sustain the manned program until the next major program could be defined. See W. David Compton and Charles D. Benson, Living and Working in Space: A History of Skylab, NASA SP-4208 (Washington, 1983), Chaps. 1, 3, and 5; also George Mueller's presentations to the House and Senate space committees in the NASA authorization hearings for fiscal 1966 and

54 Site Selection: Ranger, Surveyor, Lunar Orbiter The visible face of the moon offered scores of interesting sites for scientific exploration. As far back as 1961, Harold Urey, responding to a question from Homer Newell, listed five general regions of high scientific interest: high latitudes, to determine whether water might exist where temperature extremes were less marked; two maria, to determine whether they were of different composition; inside a large crater; near one of the great wrinkles in the maria; and in a mountainous area. Assuming that equatorial sites would draw the most attention anyway, Urey offered no suggestions concerning them. 54 Eugene Shoemaker noted not long afterward that scientific objectives would be subordinate to operational requirements, at least on the early missions, and that the sites most operationally suitable for an Apollo landing - level, featureless maria, most likely - would be the least suited to determination of geologic relationships. 55 Operations planning for the earliest Apollo missions was designed to assure the safe return of the astronauts. The spacecraft, still attached to the Saturn upper stage, would be inserted into an earthcircling "parking orbit" so that mission control could verify that all systems were working properly. Lunar landings were to be made in direct sunlight and at specific times of the lunar day chosen for optimum visibility; return to earth must take place in daylight; and allowance would be made for possible interference with communication caused by solar activity. 56 These rules, along with constraints on the lunar orbit of the command module, defined a landing zone along the moon's equator within which the first mission would have to land. Equally important for selecting a landing site was the nature of the lunar surface - how much weight it could support and how many rocks and small craters were present. For this purpose, high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface were required, which were to be supplied initially by the Ranger spacecraft [see Chapter 2]. To supplement Ranger's photographs and also to provide direct information about the surface, a second unmanned spacecraft, Surveyor, would be built. One version would softland on the moon and transmit scientific data and television pictures; a second version would be an orbiter that would circle the moon, photographing large portions of its surface. But when Apollo engineers specified the detail required for their purposes, the Surveyor orbiter as then defined could not meet them. 57 To supply the high-resolution photographs needed to certify landing sites, both OMSF and OSSA endorsed a new lunar-orbiting spacecraft. Preliminary studies indicated that the project was feasible, and after briefly considering giving the orbiter to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Headquarters officials decided to assign it to Langley Research Center. By the end of August 1963 Langley had drawn up specifications for the spacecraft and camera system and called for bids. Before the year ended, project officials had selected the Boeing Company as the prime contractor. Boeing proposed a solar-powered satellite, attitude-stabilized in three axes, carrying a film camera system designed by the Eastman Kodak Company. Film was to be developed aboard the spacecraft and the images were to be transmitted to earth by an optical scanning and telemetry system. Five photographic missions were planned; the first Lunar Orbiter would be ready for flight less than three years after the contract was let

55 In Ranger and Surveyor, the two projects that contributed most to early Apollo site selection, the Manned Spacecraft Center had worked closely with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to coordinate Apollo's requirements with mission plans [see Chapter 6]. 59 As late as 1964, no single organization was responsible for collecting the data needed to evaluate Apollo landing sites and recommending the final choice for each mission. 60 In mid-1965, acting on a recommendation from Bellcomm, Inc.,* George Mueller formally established an Apollo Site Selection Board to evaluate and recommend landing sites for the Apollo missions. Chaired by the Apollo program manager in the Office of Manned Space Flight, the board would weigh all available scientific and operational considerations and recommend landing sites to MueIler. 61 As planning for lunar science progressed during the middle 1960s, three key issues emerged: management of the returned lunar samples, selecting and training astronauts for scientific exploration, and the choice of landing sites. * Bellcomm, Inc., was a systems-engineering organization created in 1962 by the American Telephone & Telegraph Co. at NASA's request for the' purpose of conducting independent analyses of many aspects of the Apollo program. It employed about 500 people at peak strength (1969). In 1972, its work for NASA completed, Bellcomm was merged with Bell Laboratories. J. O. Cappellari, Jr., "Where on the Moon? An Apollo Systems Engineering Problem," The Bell System Technical Journal 51 (5) (1972):

56 Notes 1. See Harold C. Urey, "The Contending Moons," Astronautics & Aeronautics, vol. 7, no. 1 (Jan. 1969), pp , reproduced in "Lunar Science Prior to Apollo 11," Robert Jastrow, Vivien Gornitz, Paul W. Gast, and Robert A. Phinney, eds. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Institute for Space Studies, 1969), pp. I-1 to I- 6. This collection, a summary of discussions at a conference on problems in lunar science held in New York on June 5, 1969, contains papers and excerpts from books by the leading researchers in lunar science. Although it includes some results from Ranger and Surveyor that are not pertinent to the present discussion, this volume is a good single source of pre-apollo information on the moon. 2. Eugene M. Shoemaker, "Exploration of the Moon's Surface," American Scientist 50 (1962): Urey, "The Contending Moons"; Harold C. Urey and G. J. F. MacDonald, "Origin and History of the Moon," in "Lunar Science Prior to Apollo 11," pp. I-14 to I Urey, "The Contending Moons." 5. "Principal Issues in Lunar Exploration," in "Lunar Science Prior to Apollo 11," pp Ibid., p "Draft report of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Apollo Experiments and Training on the Scientific Aspects of the Apollo Program," Charles P. Sonett, chmn., July 6, L. D. Jaffe, "Minutes: Ad Hoc Working Group on Apollo Scientific Experiments and Training, 23 April 1962," no date. 9. Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp , Robert C. Seamans, Jr., to Homer E. Newell, July 25, Homer E. Newell, Beyond the Atmosphere: Early Years of Space Science, NASA SP-4211 (Washington, 1980), pp Ibid. 13. National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, A Review of Space Research, report of the summer study conducted under the auspices of the Space Science Board at the State University of Iowa, June 17-Aug. 10, 1962, NAS-NRC Publication 1079 (Washington, 1962), pp to 11-5, 4 to Ibid., pp to Newell, Beyond the Atmosphere, p

57 16. Verne C. Fryklund, Jr., to Ernst Stuhlinger and Hans Hueter, MSFC, "Scientific Guidelines for LLS and LLV Studies," July 3, 1963; Fryklund to Dir., MSC, "Scientific Guidelines for the Apollo Project," Oct. 8, Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., James M. Grimwood, and Charles C. Alexander, This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury, NASA SP-4201 (Washington, 1966), pp , 418, For a discussion of the integration of experiments with the Mercury flights, see Lewis R. Fisher, William O. Armstrong, and Carlos S. Warren, "Special Inflight Experiments," in Mercury Project Summary Including Results of the Fourth Manned Orbital Flight, May 15 and 16, 1963, NASA SP-45 (Washington, 1963), pp The author found this impression to be rarely if ever documented but pervasive among space scientists and others interviewed. It seemed to be most persistent in the minds of scientists who were not associated with the manned programs over long periods of time; those who worked closely with MSC engineers in developing the Apollo science program came to feel otherwise, for the most part. See author's interviews with P. E. Purser, Mar. 10, 1983, E. M. Shoemaker, Mar. 17, 1984, and H. H. Schmitt, May 30, 1984, and Loyd S. Swenson's interviews with A. J. Dessler, May 16, 1971, and E. H. King, Jr., May 27, 1971, tapes in JSC History Office files. Those who understood the engineers' problems and accepted the manned lunar landing program as the driving force of the entire space program tended to be more sympathetic. Scientist-astronaut H. H. Schmitt felt the scientists' expectations of the engineers were unreasonable: "look what they [the engineers] were trying to do, for crying out loud: they were trying to land on the moon!... [As late as 1968] there was not an engineer... who could prove that the lunar module was going to be able to fly to the moon [land and return]." (Schmitt interview.) During Mercury, the many foreseeable (and unforeseeable but expected) problems of developing spacecraft and operations caused engineers to be intolerant of any exercise not essential to the lunar landing that might in any way imperil the crew or the engineering and operational objectives of a flight. 20. Shoemaker interview. 21. Newell to Gilruth, Feb. 15, 1963; Wendell W. Mendell, interview with Swenson, Feb. 11, 1971, transcript in JSC History Office files; Newell to A/Mr. Webb, Mar. 16, King interview; Gilruth to Thomas B. Nolan, Mar. 29, MSC Circular 19, "Establishment of the Mercury Scientific Experiments Panel," Apr. 18, 1962; MSC gen. mgt. inst , "Manned Spacecraft Center In-Flight Scientific Experiments Coordination Panel," Oct. 15, 1962; MSC tech. mgt. inst , "In-flight Experimental Programs," July 18, 1963; William O. Armstrong, interview with James M. Grimwood and Ivan D. Ertel, Jan. 24, 1967, transcript in JSC History Office files. 24. Fryklund to SD/Deputy Director, "Memo from J. M. Eggleston About a Facility at MSC to House the Space Environment Division," July 24, 1963; Newell to M/Assoc. Adm., "Facility at Manned Spacecraft Center for the Space Environment Division," July 31,

58 25. Newell to Gilruth, "Manned Space Science Division Supporting Research and Technology Tasks," Nov. 21, 1963; Fryklund, "Discussions at Manned Spacecraft Center on September 19, 1963," memo for record, Sept. 27, 1963; Fryklund to Dr. Robert Voas, Oct. 11, 1963; Paul R. Brockman to SM/ Acting Director, "Manned Space Science Project Management," Nov. 8, 1963; Brockman to SP Gutheim, "Weekly report," Nov. 22, 1962; Willis B. Foster to Assoc. Adm. for MSF, "Apollo Scientific Guidelines," Dec. 19, 1963; Brockman to Gutheim, "Weekly Report," Dec. 6, Foster to Richard Mize, "Weekly Report for Week of December 16," Dec. 20, Foster to Mize, "Weekly Activities Report," Jan. 10, 1964; "Minutes: Manned Space Science Working Group of the Space Sciences Steering Committee," Jan. 30, 1964; Foster to SS/Dir. of Sciences, "Weekly Activities Report," Feb. 12, Fryklund to Members, Manned Space Science Working Group, Space Science Steering Committee, "First Group of Suggested Apollo Investigations and Investigators," Feb. 3, 1964; Fryklund to chmn., Space Sciences Steering Committee, "Preliminary definition of Apollo investigations," Feb. 13, Fryklund to John M. Eggleston, "Integrated Apollo Science Program," Mar. 25, 1964; Fryklund to Assoc. Adm., SSA, "Integration of Apollo Science Program," Mar. 26, 1964; "Minutes, Manned Space Science Working Group of the Space Sciences Steering Committee, 26 March 1964," Apr. 9, E. L. Durst to Chief, Flight Operations Div., "Project Apollo, Operational Ground Rules for the Lunar Landing Mission," Oct. 23, 1963; MSC, "The Development of an Apollo Lunar Landing Mission Reference Trajectory," Internal Note 64-OM-12, May MSC, "Contributions of MSC Personnel to the Manned Lunar Exploration Symposium, June 15 and 16, 1964," no date; D. A. Beattie, E. M. Davin, and P. D. Lowman to Dir., Manned Space Science Div. and Chief, Lunar and Planetary Science Branch, "Supplemental Recommendations and Comments on 'Apollo Scientific Investigations,'" July 6, 1964; Fryklund to Dir., MSC, "Action Items and Positive Results from the Apollo Science Meeting," July 6, Davin to multiple addressees, "Request for comments on the attached lunar surface science programs definition document for the approved Apollo missions," no date [Dec. 1964]. 33. OSSA, "Apollo Lunar Science Program: Report of Planning Teams," part I, Summary (Dec. 1964), pp Ibid., part II, Appendix. 35. Eggleston to Staff, "Establishment of interim coordinators for scientific equipment," Jan. 14, Foster to multiple addressees, "Report of Program Plans and Status," Feb. 1, Foster to Assoc. Adm., MSF, "Matters to discuss with Joe Shea in regard to science experiments," Apr. 1,

59 38. Maxime A. Faget to Foster, "Grants or contracts to potential principal investigators for lunar surface experiments," May 11, 1965, with encl., "Chronology [of background information]." 39. Richard J. Allenby to Mueller and Newell, "Minutes of Newell-Mueller Meeting of 23 February 1965," Apr. 19, 1965, with encl., "Memorandum of Agreement between Office of Manned Space Flight [and] Office of Space Science and Applications, Scientific Interfaces." 40. B. A. Linn to the record, "MSF Procurement Plan for Lunar Surface Experiments Package," June 3, 1965; Mueller to MSC, attn. Dave Lang, "Request for Approval of Procurement Plan for Lunar Surface Experiments Package," June 7, NASA release , "Three Firms Selected to Design Apollo Lunar Surface Package," Aug. 4, National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, Space Research: Directions for the Future, report of a study by the Space Science Board, Woods Hole, Mass., 1965, NAS-NRC Publication 1402 (Washington, 1966), p. iii. 43. Ibid. 44. Ibid., pp Ibid., pp Ibid., pp Ibid., pp Ibid., p NASA 1965 Summer Conference on Lunar Exploration and Science, Falmouth, Massachusetts, July 19-31, 1965, NASA SP-88 (Washington, 1965), pp. 1, Ibid., pp , Neal J. Smith to Allenby, 11 Aug NASA 1965 Summer Conference, pp. 7-12, Shoemaker interview. 54. Harold C. Urey to Newell, June 19, Shoemaker, "Exploration of the Moon's Surface," American Scientist 50 (1962):

60 56. Ted H. Skopinski to Chief, Systems Integration Div., "Selection of Lunar Landing Site for the Early Apollo Lunar Missions," Mar. 21, Bruce K. Byers, Destination Moon: A History of the Lunar Orbiter Program, NASA TM X-3487 (Washington, 1977), pp Ibid., pp , 67-69, 75-78, Gilruth to Mueller, Aug. 5, T. H. Thompson to G. E. Mueller and Gen. S. C. Phillips, Dec. 23, Mueller to multiple addressees, "Establishment of Apollo Site Selection Board," July 1,

61 4 HANDLING SAMPLES FROM THE MOON Introduction The samples of rock and soil brought back from the moon would be a priceless scientific resource, and for scientists to be able to extract the maximum information from them, the samples would have to be carefully protected. Minute traces of earthborne contaminants could lead to completely erroneous interpretations of laboratory results. In 1964 scientists at the Manned Spacecraft Center proposed that NASA provide a laboratory in which lunar samples would be cataloged and subjected to preliminary examination, so that the requirements of principal investigators for specific types of material could be met. There were, as well, certain time-critical examinations that would have to be done as soon as possible after the samples were returned to earth. To provide for these requirements would have required only a modest facility. But as plans for managing the samples developed, NASA came under pressure from space biologists and the U.S. Public Health Service to protect the earth against the introduction of alien microorganisms that might exist in lunar soil. What would have been a small laboratory designed to protect lunar samples against contamination grew into an elaborate, expensive quarantine facility that greatly complicated operations on the early lunar landing missions. Early Plans for Lunar Sample Management Preliminary definitions of the lunar science program noted the importance of laboratory studies on returned lunar material, but offered no suggestions as to how samples should be collected and handled. 1 Neither within nor outside NASA did anyone give serious thought to the details of preserving lunar samples in near-pristine condition until late Elbert A. King, Jr., and Donald A. Flory, two geosci

62 entists who joined MSC's Space Environment Division that year, were among the first to propose action to protect valuable scientific information that could be lost unless the lunar samples were handled under carefully controlled conditions. In February 1964 King and Flory put together a concept of a sample receiving laboratory and forwarded it to Max Faget, director of engineering and development at the Manned Spacecraft Center. Their plan called for a small (100 square feet, 9.5 square meters) laboratory in which sample containers could be opened and their contents repackaged under high vacuum (one ten-millionth of atmospheric pressure) for distribution to the scientists who would conduct most of the studies. Remotely controlled manipulators would be used to carry out operations within the chamber, which would be sterile, chemically clean, and used for no other purpose. 2 Faget recognized the importance of the proposed facility to the lunar science program and encouraged King and Flory to expand their concept. The second version of the "sample transfer facility" was considerably larger and more sophisticated. A 2,500-square-foot (232-square-meter) clean room contained several analytical instruments for performing preliminary tests on the samples. Within this area was a high-vacuum system containing remote manipulators and a separate sterile laboratory for biological testing. The vacuum chamber was equipped to prepare mineralogical and petrological specimens as well as divide and repackage the samples. The atmosphere in the entire area would be closely monitored so that subsequent investigators would know what contaminants might be present in their samples. 3 These preliminary studies received considerable support in June 1964 when the Apollo science planning teams [see Chapter 3] met at Houston. Both the geochemistry and mineralogy-petrology teams emphasized the importance of controlling the environment in which the sample containers were first opened and the need for extensive preliminary examination of the samples at the receiving site. 4 After discussions with members of these teams, King and Flory reworked their proposal and described an elaborate lunar sample laboratory. Projected at more than 8,000 square feet (740 square meters) of floor space, their third concept included offices for 30 visiting scientists as well as laboratories for chemical analysis, low-level short-lived radioactivity measurements, biological examination, and mineralogical and petrological preparations. This facility was not a mere sample-receiving and -packaging laboratory, but the center for much of the preliminary scientific work that would be done on the lunar samples. 5 They presented this concept to MSC's director, Bob Gilruth, on August 13. Gilruth approved, and Faget set about preparing to contract for design studies for it. 6 MSC's plans required Headquarters approval and funding, and when Faget explained the project Willis Foster's Manned Space Science Division reacted cautiously, to say the least. While agreeing in general terms with the concept, Foster noted that it was a Headquarters responsibility and that the laboratory would be only a "receiving laboratory." The detailed preliminary studies Houston was proposing should be left to outside investigators. In response to Faget's request for $300,000 to conduct the design study, Foster replied that he could allot only $100,000.7 In view of the alarm with which some of his people viewed the size of the project MSC was proposing, Foster appointed an ad hoc group of Headquarters and MSC scientists to review it. 8 The group's first meeting in early November was, from Houston's point of view, disappointing. Few of the participants had given much thought to the requirements for a receiving laboratory, and the discussion was long and inconclusive. The group's chairman seemed determined to keep the size and cost of

63 the proposed lab to the absolute minimum. Most members seemed to feel that a facility such as MSC was proposing would take much of the lunar science program out of the hands of academic investigators. In spite of MSC's insistence that time was short, the group adjourned without taking any useful action. 9 But the second meeting, a month later, produced enough progress that MSC's representative felt Houston could go ahead with initial engineering studies. 10 While Foster's ad hoc group ruminated on the need for a receiving laboratory, Homer Newell - probably sensing that it would entail a considerable increase in the costs of lunar exploration - felt that an independent assessment by the scientific community was needed. Early in December he mote to Harry H. Hess, chairman of the Space Science Board, requesting the board's judgment on the kinds of analysis that should be performed on the lunar samples as soon as they were returned, the facilities needed to do that work, and the staffing that would be required. 11 A five-man committee - three members of the Space Science Board and two academic scientists - met in Washington on January 14, 1965, to discuss Newell's questions and to confer with members of the ad hoc group. Three weeks later Hess reported to Newell that a sample receiving laboratory having a relatively restricted mission was indeed needed. The only critical examination was measurement of radioactivity induced in the lunar surface material by cosmic-ray bombardment, which would have to be measured as soon as possible because it quickly dropped to a very low level. The committee raised a question that Newell had not put to it: its members foresaw a need to quarantine the lunar samples until they proved biologically innocuous. A simple, general biological examination could be done at some existing Public Health Service or Army installation. Without specific information or plans to comment on, the committee could give only rough estimates of staffing requirements and probable costs. A minimal quarantine facility with a radiation-counting laboratory might be built for $2.5 million; it would require between 12 and 30 professional scientists plus a supporting staff. 12 Hess's committee emphatically asserted that the studies MSC was proposing should not be done in the receiving laboratory - or, for that matter, by any single group, inside or outside government - but should be entrusted to the scientific community at large. Neither did they see a compelling need to locate the laboratory at Houston, although "it may seem desirable that MSC have a part in the activity by virtue of its Apollo role," If the Houston center could properly staff such a laboratory, however, it might "add to the overall environment at MSC." On the other hand, since the radiation-counting laboratory would have to be built deep underground to shield it from natural radiation, the waterlogged soil of the Texas coast might make construction more expensive there, and thus some other site might be preferable. The committee also cautioned that such a laboratory would have to operate continuously to conduct worthwhile research; it could not be geared up to operate whenever a new set of samples was available and then shut down until another lunar mission was flown, 13 which, they evidently suspected, was the way MSC was likely to operate the laboratory in light of its minimal scientific capability. Manned Spacecraft Center officials, meanwhile, were anxious to get their preliminary engineering studies under way. Preliminary studies, design studies, contractor selection, and contract negotiations had to be disposed of as quickly as possible. Cost estimates and justifications had to be prepared for inclusion in the center's budget proposals for fiscal 1967, when construction would have to start. According to early 1965 estimates, the laboratory would have to be operational by January 1969 to support the first lunar mission. Many critical and complex operations in the laboratory would have to be checked out beforehand, and managers estimated that a 9- to 12-month shakedown would be needed

64 The sense of urgency felt at MSC was not shared in Washington, however Faget wrote to Foster in mid- January 1965 urging hint to release funds for preliminary engineering studies for the laboratory and suggesting that Headquarters' ad hoc committee be replaced by a standing committee to oversee the incorporation of scientific requirements into the laboratory during construction. A month later Foster replied that study funds could not be released until the ad hoc committee made its report. He concurred with Faget's desire for a standing committee and urged him to appoint one of his staff to it, pointing to the value of "a greater understanding by MSC of the scientific objectives of the laboratory," which would enhance Houston's chances of getting the facility. "Other NASA centers," Foster said, "are submitting 'bids' for the laboratory." 15 For the next several weeks, MSC and Headquarters discussed management of the laboratory, finally reaching an understanding as to future activity on the project. Foster would appoint a standing committee that would be given free access to design reviews and relevant program materials, so that Headquarters could be assured that the science requirements levied on the laboratory were being met. At Faget's insistence, however, the committee would have no right to approve plans; their advice would be made available through the committee chairman to MSC's point of contact for the receiving laboratory. Except for the specialized radiation-counting equipment, the cost of the laboratory would be included in MSC's construction of facilities budget for fiscal Some discrepancy still existed between Headquarters's and Houston's cost estimates. Foster's office seemed be thinking of a $1- to $2-million facility; the figure included in MSC's preliminary 1967 budget was $6.5 million. 17 The Specter of "Back-Contamination" Houston's planning for the sample receiving laboratory was vastly complicated the following summer by a question Hess's committee had emphasized in its February report. They stated a clear requirement for quarantine of the lunar material until biologists could ascertain that it harbored no living organisms that might threaten the earth's biosphere. 18 The possibility that life exists or has existed elsewhere in the universe - even within our solar system - evolved from a science-fiction fantasy to a serious scientific question within a few decades. Although no positive evidence has ever been found to indicate that even the simplest living organisms exist elsewhere, a considerable accumulation of evidence that life might appear, under the right conditions, has led to a widespread conviction that it has appeared,* somewhere. 19 As early as 1960 the Space Science Board had advised that NASA and other concerned government agencies (e.g., the Public Health Service) should establish an interagency committee on interplanetary quarantine to formulate a national policy for handling spacecraft and material returned from other planets.20 Two years later, the working group on biology of the Iowa summer study [see Chapter 1] noted that * The argument runs roughly as follows. Simple organic molecules related to the substances out of which living matter is made have been detected in space. Other organic material, possibly derived from living organisms, has been found in meteorites. Conclusive experiments have shown that precursors to living matter can be built from chemically simple substances under conditions presumed to have existed on the ancient earth. Given the vast number of galaxies observable in the universe (a billion billion, according to one estimate) it seems probable that solar systems like our own exist somewhere in those galaxies, and that conditions favoring the origin of life exist on an appreciable number of planets similar to earth

65 the introduction into the Earth's biosphere of destructive alien organisms could be a disaster. We can conceive of no more tragically ironic consequence of our search for extraterrestrial life. Acknowledging that scientists by no means unanimously agreed on the existence of extraterrestrial life, the group nonetheless recommended that NASA employ appropriate quarantine and other procedures when handling returned samples, spacecraft, and astronauts [in order to] make the risk as small as possible. 21 These cautions had little effect on NASA's plans - in part because the danger seemed remote in the early 1960s, but also because no one in the space agency spoke** for the life sciences. 22 In the early days of space flight few biologists were interested in the space environment; the frontiers of biology were on earth. The life-science community created no demand for NASA support comparable to that created by space physics and astronomy. 23 As the Apollo program progressed, however, and the prospect of people returning from the moon with boxes of lunar rocks and soil became increasingly likely, concerned biologists continued to call attention to the need for precautions against contamination of the earth by organisms from the moon. On July 29, 1964, the Space Science Board convened a conference of representatives from the Public Health Service, the Department of Agriculture, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Academy of Sciences, and NASA to assess the back-contamination problem and recommend courses of action. The conference concluded that the existence of life on the moon or planets cannot rationally be precluded. At the very least, present evidence is not inconsistent with its presence. Negative data will not prove that extraterrestrial life does not exist; they will merely mean that it has not been found [emphasis added]."*** To contain any alien life forms, astronauts, spacecraft, and lunar materials coming back from the moon should be placed immediately in an isolation unit; the astronauts should be held in rigid quarantine for at least three weeks; and preliminary examination of the samples should be conducted behind "absolute biological barriers, under rigid bacterial and chemical isolation." NASA should immediately take steps to work out the operational details of these procedures. 24 When Harry Hess's committee, speaking for the Space Science Board, reported its position on backcontamination the following February, both Headquarters and the Manned Spacecraft Center realized that quarantine was a more serious concern than they had anticipated. 25 Although the director of Biosciences Programs in the Office of Space Science and Applications had kept in contact with the Na- ** See Newell, Beyond the Atmosphere, chap. 16 ("Life Sciences: No Place in the Sun"). Of all the life sciences, space medicine - the effects of the space environment on human physiology - was the only one of prime concern to manned space flight; but it was only a subsidiary effort in Mercury and Gemini and was concerned mainly with settling some crucial operational questions. See John A. Pitts, The Human Factor: Biomedicine in the Manned Space Program to 1980, NASA SP-4213 (Washington, 1985). *** This statement is quite correct; experimental proof of a negative postulate, such as "life does not exist on Mars," is, in any practical sense, impossible. But many must have felt like one anonymous reader at MSC, who pencilled opposite the sentence in the margin of his copy of the report: "Like witches."

66 tional Academy of Sciences and the Public Health Service, the emphasis on the possible dangers of lunar material came as a surprise to him. 26 Most speculation about extraterrestrial life excluded the moon. At Houston, the report portended serious complications in the design of the receiving laboratory and probably in flight operations as well, and Faget's organization took steps to clarify the quarantine requirements. 27 Action at higher levels was slow in coming, however. Only in May did the NASA Administrator and the Surgeon General (chief of the Public Health Service [PHS]) discuss the matter, agreeing to set up an interagency advisory committee to deal with back-contamination. 28 By the end of July 1965, MSC had incorporated a general requirement for quarantine into its justification for building the receiving lab, but time was growing short and detailed specifications were needed. Then-current plans required the laboratory to be in operation by January 1, Allowing a year or more for engineering and design studies, another six months for checking out the equipment and procedures, and six months to correct deficiencies uncovered in the shakedown, just over a year would be left to build the laboratory and install the special scientific equipment. Procedures and space requirements for quarantine had to be settled as soon as possible. MSC already had an outside engineering firm working on a preliminary engineering survey, which would define the laboratory's special requirements and determine what additional studies might be needed to specify its specialized scientific equipment. 29 Others at MSC were working to formulate a center policy on quarantine in the hope that it could be simplified as much as possible. In late July, Headquarters arranged for an informal meeting of PHS and manned space flight representatives to discuss quarantine and the lunar sample receiving laboratory. 30 Knowing that MSC had little chance of convincing the PHS that no hazard existed, Elbert King consulted with center medical experts and prepared a statement asserting that only subsurface samples should be treated as potential hazards and that quarantine could be terminated as soon as returned samples were found free of exotic organisms. He also set down several important policy questions concerning quarantine to serve as the basis for discussions with the PHS. 31 When the two groups met at Houston on September 27, 1965, it soon became apparent that MSC's evaluation of the hazard presented by lunar material was not shared by PHS officials. King argued that the lunar surface could be considered sterile: it was in a high vacuum, devoid of water, exposed to intense ultraviolet radiation and subatomic particles from the solar wind, and subjected to severe temperature changes. "If you really wanted to try to design a sterile surface," King later summarized his argument, "this was it." Thus surface material and the astronauts who came in contact only with it should not require such rigorous isolation as samples taken from greater depths. The PHS representative, Dr. James Goddard, chief of the Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta, was unmoved by these arguments. He asked whether anyone could be certain that no microorganisms could survive anywhere on the moon - in sheltered areas, for example. When no one could offer such assurance, Goddard insisted that quarantine must be strict. He and other PHS officials were upset, in fact, that MSC had taken such a casual view of the biological hazard. Even if it cost $50 million to implement an effective quarantine, Goddard said, the importance of the issues justified the added expense. 32 When MSC asked whether the PHS's immigration officers would allow the Apollo astronauts to enter the United States if they were handled in the same way the Gemini crews had been, the reply was emphatic: they would not

67 When the conference was over MSC officials knew that the lunar receiving laboratory would have to be even larger and more expensive than they had expected. Quarantine would require astronauts and a fairly large support staff to five in isolation for at least three weeks. The numerous post-mission debriefings would have to be conducted through the biological barrier. Not only that, but recovery operations would be much more difficult. PHS officials wanted to prevent exposure of the command module's interior to the earth's atmosphere from the moment it splashed down in the ocean, and the astronauts would have to be isolated at once - even in the rubber rafts used by the recovery crews. On reaching the recovery ship they would be led straight to a mobile quarantine chamber that could be flown back to the mainland. Passing the word to all branches of the Systems Engineering Division at MSC, Division Chief Owen Maynard directed them to show what measures were being taken to comply with these requirements. "Rather than assume the standard answer that no changes can - be made within present weight, cost and schedule limitations," he said, "you should assume that [we are] morally obligated to prevent any possible contamination of the earth." Initial examination should be based on the ground rule that "no [command module] components can be exposed to the earth's atmosphere following entry, except those components external to the pressure shell which cannot be contaminated by the cabin environment." While conceding that the first look might show the problems to be insurmountable, Maynard noted that the hazards should be completely documented so that action could be taken as needed. 34 Maynard's instructions to his division probably reflected a widespread mood of resignation to working around the difficulties that would result from imposition of strict quarantine, which, in the view of some, was unnecessary.35 But the question of back-contamination had been raised by the scientific community and recognized as important by the Space Science Board and thus had the potential to become a political issue that could create much adverse publicity for the Apollo program. Toward the end of 1965 it was generally accepted that crew and samples would have to be strictly quarantined. On November 15 NASA's Deputy Administrator, Hugh L. Dryden, wrote to the Surgeon General proposing that a formal liaison office with the Public Health Service be established, that a NASA-PHS advisory committee be set up to establish guidelines for back-contamination control and oversee NASA's efforts to avoid infecting the earth, and that the PHS recommend the kind of facilities and staff required to carry out those efforts. 36 The Surgeon General's reply a month later paved the way for establishing formal cooperation in managing quarantine in the Apollo program. 37 Congress Objects to the Receiving Laboratory MSC had initially projected the cost of building the lunar receiving laboratory at $6.5 million, but providing for quarantine would increase that considerably. Before going ahead with plans to enlarge the laboratory, George Mueller, no doubt with a view to minimizing the cost increase, directed MSC to conduct a quick survey of quarantine facilities around the country that might serve to isolate crews and support staff following Apollo missions. 38 Houston evaluated 12 hospitals and research installations that were equipped for biological containment against the requirements imposed on Apollo, and concluded that none would be satisfactory. Only one, in fact, an Army hospital at Fort Detrick, Maryland (which provided care for personnel working with highly dangerous microorganisms), even came close. Converting it to accommodate Apollo, however, would require major new construction and would

68 interfere with the Army's research programs. 39 If the Apollo crews were to be quarantined, NASA evidently would have to build its own isolation ward for the purpose, and in spite of its cost Mueller believed he had adequate justification for it. But lean years were beginning for manned space flight. President Lyndon Johnson pressed hard for expanded domestic social programs while announcing his intention to keep the federal budget under $100 billion. At the same time the nation's involvement in southeast Asia deepened; troop commitments increased eightfold as the United States sent combat units to Vietnam. Other programs, including space, would be squeezed hard to keep costs down. 40 Administrator James Webb went to Congress in the spring of 1966 with an authorization request for $5.012 billion, 60 percent of it for manned space flight. It was an austere budget, Webb said, that provided "no margins of time or of resources to counter the effects of setbacks or failures." 41 Manned programs required $54.4 million for construction of facilities - a sharp increase from the previous year's request, but only one-fourth of what NASA had received two years before. 42 The largest single amount, $36.5 million, went to Kennedy Space Center, most of it for completion of the Saturn V launch complex. The Manned Spacecraft Center needed $13.8 million, of which $9.1 million was allocated to the lunar receiving laboratory. 43 The House subcommittee on manned space flight was generally sympathetic to Apollo's other requests, but it gave the lunar receiving laboratory unusually close scrutiny. In response to questions submitted by the subcommittee after the initial hearings on February 24, 1966, the Office of Manned Space Flight supplied for the record a detailed history, including statements from the Public Health Service, of the requirements imposed by the scientific community and NASA's efforts to satisfy them. 44 But when William Lilly, Headquarters Apollo Program Control Director, and George Low, MSC's Deputy Director, faced the subcommittee on March 1, some members apparently had not had time to study OMSF's responses, Congressman Donald Rumsfeld suspected the receiving lab was NASA's attempt to get a foot in the door for substantial expenditures later, and he saw no valid reason to build the lab at MSC. 45 Ranking minority member James Fulton of Pennsylvania, like Rumsfeld, did not see why the lab had to be at Houston; but he also faulted NASA for not planning to use existing facilities and questioned NASA's assertion that the laboratory was needed. 46 Whatever the reasons for - the congressmen's antagonism to the receiving lab, Lilly and Low had an unexpectedly rough day. Olin Teague, chairman of the subcommittee and an unswerving supporter of manned space flight, did not preside at these hearings, and his absence undoubtedly deprived them of a friendly interrogator who would have helped them make their case. The following week the subcommittee, not convinced that NASA had justified the receiving laboratory, struck it out of the authorization bill. 47 The loss of the laboratory was a blow to MSC and to Apollo; without it, NASA could not meet the scientific requirements imposed on the lunar landing missions. Mueller ordered a more detailed study of existing facilities that might serve either to quarantine the crews and samples or to conduct the required scientific studies. 48 MSC immediately appointed a site survey board to evaluate possible alternate locations. From a list of 27 facilities a group of 8 was selected for detailed investigation.* The * USPHS Communicable Disease Center, Atlanta, Ga.; Army Biological Center, Ft. Detrick, Md.; National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.; Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn.; USAF School of Aviation Medicine, Brooks AFB, Tex.; NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.; Navy Biological Laboratories, Oakland, Calif.; and Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Los Alamos, N. Mex

69 board then prepared a list of detailed criteria for the laboratory, based primarily on its requirements for two-way biological containment, handling of samples under high vacuum, and low-level radiation counting. Secondary but important considerations included space, administrative and technical support services, and availability of utilities. Finally, the board was to consider logistics, principally the problem of travel to and from the site by engineers and others who needed to debrief the astronauts. Since time was limited, the board split up into two teams, one to survey the eastern sites and one the western. Each team had a member who could estimate the cost of modifying and operating the candidate facilities, During the week of March the teams inspected the eight establishments, conferring with officials at each site to assess the impact of Apollo's requirements on local programs and their willingness to accept the project. The board then summarized its findings: 1. There is no single facility that will meet the criteria standards for any one of the major functional areas of the Lunar Receiving Laboratory, without extensive modification. 2. There is no single facility that can be economically modified or adapted to meet all the requirements of the Lunar Receiving Laboratory. 3. The use of any one of the sites investigated will result in reduction or reprogramming of some phase of nationally significant research effort. 4. An integrated facility is necessary to minimize public health hazards. 5. Maximum operational effectiveness, as a part of the Apollo mission, and minimum operating costs indicate a Houston location as the most preferred site. 49 The final report stressed the last point: efficient management of Apollo required the astronauts, spacecraft, and lunar samples to be as close as possible to Houston's engineers and physicians, especially in the first few weeks after recovery. 50 While this survey proceeded, Headquarters gathered more supporting information in preparation for a rehearing. 51 On March 31 Mueller, armed with the site survey report and stacks of extra facts, appeared before the subcommittee. In great detail he explained the history of the receiving lab, in particular the emergence of the requirement for quarantine, stressing NASA's cooperation with the Public Health Service and the Space Science Board. Since some subcommittee members apparently felt that NASA had sprung a surprise in proposing the new facility, Mueller pointed out that chairman Teague had been informed of the probable need for a receiving laboratory in August Col. John Pickering, who had headed the site-evaluation survey, then explained that group's operation and reiterated its conclusions. 52 This time the subcommittee was convinced and restored funds for the laboratory to the authorization bill. 53 Fulton, however, held out. He put his objections on record in the full committee's report to the House, discounting the danger of back-contamination, asserting that the site survey teams had been packed with members predisposed to choose Houston as the site for the lab, and disputing the need to centralize all the operations in one place. Contrary to NASA's own findings, many other facilities in the country could be used with minor modification, Fulton said. 54 When the authorization bill came to the ** Manned space flight (and the Manned Spacecraft Center) had lost a powerful friend in Congress a few weeks earlier. Representative Albert Thomas of Houston, chairman of the subcommittee that passed on NASA's appropriation bills, died on February 15,

70 House floor, it passed with the lunar receiving laboratory's $9.1 million intact, though Fulton tried once more to kill it. "We simply have no facts," he told his colleagues, "on which to build a practical foundation and a laboratory." 55 The lunar receiving laboratory survived the authorization hearings but fared somewhat less well in the Appropriations Committee,** which cut out $26.5 million in construction funds. The committee did not eliminate or reduce any specific projects; it was simply not convinced that they should all be started immediately. Some projects (presumably the receiving laboratory, although it was not mentioned by name), the committee report pointed out, would not be needed until after the lunar landing. 56 The Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences was more specific, reducing funds for the laboratory by $1 million and warning NASA to keep a tight rein on its costs and provide only the necessary minimum of specialized facilities. 57 In the final appropriations bill passed by Congress, NASA's budget request for fiscal 1967 was cut by $44 million, bringing funding for space below $5 billion for the first time since fiscal Research and development, the category that covered most of the agency's expenses for space flight hardware and operations, suffered the smallest reduction, only $1.6 million out of $4,246.6 million requested. Construction of facilities was reduced by $18.2 million and administrative operations by $23.9 million 59 ; both of these reductions would have a considerable impact on construction and operation of the lunar receiving laboratory. Completing Design and Starting Construction Throughout 1965, the Manned Spacecraft Center developed the architectural and engineering requirements for the lunar receiving laboratory (LRL), relying on Headquarters's Manned Space Science Division to define its scientific requirements. 60 By the end of the year Houston had completed its preliminary engineering study, requirements for quarantine of crew and support personnel had been incorporated, and in March 1966 NASA officials took to Congress a description for a building enclosing more than 86,000 square feet (8,000 square meters) of floor space. One-fourth of this was required for the crew isolation area, two-thirds for the sample-receiving laboratory and the biological facilities, and the rest for the radiation-counting laboratory - part of which was 50 feet (15 meters) below ground level and elaborately shielded against radiation from outside. 61 Houston planned a two-phase construction program; the first, for the foundation and building shell, to begin in July 1966; and the second, to complete and equip the building, to start in September. Total construction costs were estimated at around $8 million. The vacuum system and its associated equipment were to be designed and built by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory of the Atomic Energy Commission. At the time of the congressional hearings MSC expected the entire facility to be ready for operation by the end of December A program office and a policy board for the LRL were established in May Congress's unexpected opposition to the LRL delayed the schedule, however, and by midsummer Headquarters advised Houston that it could solicit bids but could not open them until NASA's authorization bill had passed. Both schedule and budget were tight, but it seemed that MSC would have to live with both, since Congress was far from favorable toward the project. 64 Clearance to open bids for the first phase of construction came on July 28 with the stipulation that no contract was to be awarded nor was the second contractor to be announced until Headquarters gave the word. 65 On August 1 MSC selected

71 Warrior Constructors, Inc., of Houston for the initial phase of construction; on the 19th the contract for completing the laboratory went to a consortium of Warrior, National Electronics Corp. of Houston, and Notkin & Co. of Kansas City, Mo. The two contracts totaled approximately $7.8 million. 66 Staffing the Lunar Receiving Laboratory While most of the early planning for the lunar receiving laboratory necessarily concentrated on the building and its equipment, the scientists who were drawing up its functions continually pondered the problem of providing a competent staff to operate it. The Space Science Board's ad hoc committee (Harry Hess's group) saw merit in establishing a "small but competent [scientific] staff headed by a scientist of recognized stature" to maintain a modest research program, but felt that "the problem of attracting a highly competent small staff is serious," 67 presumably because the environment at MSC did not appeal to scientists. The Houston center had only a few scientists, most of them younger professionals who had yet to establish their reputations and had little chance to do so in the roles they were assigned. 68 OSSA's ad hoc committee proposed a permanent staff to sustain the laboratory, supplemented by visiting scientists who would do much of the experimental work On the lunar samples. 69 As plans matured, however, and particularly as the requirement for quarantine developed in 1965, the question of an organization and staff for the laboratory became increasingly pressing. In early September, James McLane, MSC's engineer in charge of the early planning, outlined the peculiar requirements of the new laboratory in a five-page memorandum. McLane noted that preliminary studies had pointed up the need for a minimum of three persons to serve as an administrative staff: a director, a technical director (chief scientist), and an assistant technical director (sample curator), all of whom should be MSC civil service employees. Major questions concerning the roles of these staff members needed resolution. Where would they fit in the MSC organization? What responsibility would they have in managing and distributing the lunar samples? Should they be eminent scientists to satisfy the scientific community? (At one time McLane had heard that a Nobel laureate was being suggested.) How would differences between visiting scientists and MSC's operations be settled? McLane urged that MSC and Headquarters work out these details, define the positions, and start recruiting. "It would be highly desirable," he said, "to have at least one of these... positions filled reasonably early in the final design phase (late 1965)." Concerning quarantine, McLane felt that this might be better left to the Public Health Service; but whatever was decided, definite responsibility should be assigned as soon as possible. 70 But while design studies went on under the pressure of the early-1969 schedule for beginning operations, laboratory organization and staffing languished. Discussions with the Public Health Service and definition of the PHS's role in quarantine took up most of the last half of MSC and the Headquarters standing committee for the sample receiving laboratory spent much of the first half of 1966 working over the lab design. And when Congress balked at Houston's plan for the receiving lab, considerable effort had to be given to justifying its existence and its location. All in all, the lunar receiving laboratory created a knotty management problem, which was probably complicated by the lack of a focal point for science at MSC. * The Space Sciences Steering Committee, composed entirely of NASA employees, was responsible for recommending science programs and projects to the Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications. Seven subcommittees, each having about half its members from the outside scientific community, advised the main committee on specific areas of space science

72 Early in 1966 the Planetology Subcommittee of OSSA's Space Science Steering Committee,* worried by the lack of progress in defining the scientific role of the receiving laboratory, recommended that the standing committee monitor that aspect of the planning and report periodically to the Steering Committee. 71 After some discussion within OSSA, the standing committee was replaced by a Lunar Receiving Laboratory Working Group chaired by Dr. Clark Goodman of the physics faculty at the University of Houston, a member of the Planetology Subcommittee. At its first meeting on May 5, 1966, the group reviewed progress on laboratory design and studied MSC's schedule for construction and activation of the lab. MSC's presentation made no mention of staffing, and when the question was raised it developed that no job descriptions were available and no recruiting was under way for key positions. While members of the working group were impressed by MSC's concept of the laboratory, they were concerned about the lack of definition of its organization. Their concern took the form of a resolution, in which they also recommended that at least 12 civil-service positions be made available for scientists in the LRL and stated the group's willingness to suggest candidates. 72 Later in the month MSC prepared an estimate of staffing requirements that showed 33 resident scientists (Ph.D. or equivalent) and provision to accommodate 15 visiting scientists working On grants from Headquarters. 73 Houston's freedom to staff the receiving laboratory was restricted by the budget cuts imposed by Congress, which ultimately reduced the number of civil-service positions at the center by 84 in fiscal The LRL Working Group continued to press for action while MSC struggled with the problem of fitting the laboratory into its organization. 75 A possible alternative came to light in midsummer when the University of Houston approached officials at MSC about managing the laboratory under contract. 76 The idea of using an outside management contractor had been considered by MSC, and Houston officials gave this initiative considerable thought. Early in September a plan was drafted for consideration by Headquarters, calling for the University of Houston, through its Houston Research Institute, to head a consortium of regional universities to provide professional staff and technical support for operations in the receiving lab. 77 In further discussions with Headquarters MSC stressed the value of a connection with the academic world and the difficulty of staffing the laboratory under existing civilservice restrictions. 78 Headquarters wanted to look more closely at the situation, however, and discussions continued through the rest of the year. NASA's top managers evidently had visions that the lunar receiving laboratory would become a national laboratory for lunar studies, in which case participation by the academic community on a nationwide scale would be desirable. 79 Meanwhile, MSC was directed to create a task force to take care of the receiving laboratory's basic needs, extend existing support contracts to meet immediate requirements, and await developments. 80 If additional scientific talent was needed, other NASA centers could be called on to provide it. 81 During all these discussions, pressure from concerned groups mounted. The LRL Working Group especially emphasized the need to name a director for the laboratory. The Public Health Service felt that matters had reached a point where an organization and staff were critical to further progress, and suggested that the laboratory chief should be someone thoroughly familiar with biomedical science generally and quarantine in particular

73 In fact, MSC officials had finally come to recognize the need for more than just a staff and organization for the receiving laboratory. By mid-december the Houston center had decided to create a Science and Applications Directorate, organizationally on a par with Max Faget's Engineering and Development Directorate, in which all the center's scientific activity would be centralized. [see Chapter 6)] It would take over the activities of the Experiments Program Office and the Space Sciences Division as well as a number of other scientific functions scattered around the center. Robert O. Piland, chief of the Experiments Program Office, would act as director while a search was instituted for an established scientist to fill the position. 83 No director was named for the lunar receiving laboratory; pending a permanent appointment, Joseph V. Piland, project manager for LRL construction, was named acting manager. To provide the laboratory technicians who would prepare the lunar receiving laboratory for operation, MSC turned to its support contractors. In mid-january 1967 Gilruth notified Headquarters that he intended to extend an existing contract with Brown & Root-Northrop, which would furnish technicians for the receiving laboratory under the direction of the project manager. 84 Between completion of the laboratory and the first lunar mission, Brown & Root-Northrop would train its employees in laboratory operations and maintenance and prepare for an operational readiness inspection and a rehearsal of a complete cycle of laboratory operation. The Manned Spacecraft Center had recognized the need for a lunar sample receiving laboratory and was willing to support it, but many MSC engineers - and a few scientists as well - felt that the quarantine facility and its elaborate precautions were unnecessary impediments to Apollo operations. But however insignificant manned space flight officials believed the risk of back-contamination to be, it was a risk NASA could not afford to take. If they were wrong, the consequences would be, as the scientists said, disastrous

74 Notes 1. National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, A Review of Space Research, report of the summer study conducted under the auspices of the Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences, NAS-NRC Publication 1079 (Washington, 1962), pp. 4-7, John M. Eggleston to M. A. Faget, "Initial Handling of Geological and Biological Samples Returned from the Apollo Missions," Feb. 24, Aleck C. Bond to Chief, Off. of Technical and Engineering Services, "Sample Transfer Facility," with encl., "Functional Description and Tentative Performance Requirements," Apr. 14, OSSA, "Apollo Lunar Science Program, Report of Planning Teams," part II, Appendix: sec. In, "Preliminary Report on the Sampling and Examination of Lunar Surface Materials," pp. 8-9; sec. IV, "First Report - Geochemistry Planning Team," pp E. A. King and D. A. Flory to Asst. Dir. for Engineering and Development, "Requirements for a Facility to Receive and Accomplish Initial Lunar Sample Investigation at MSC," July 7, Faget to Willis B. Foster, "Apollo Sample Handling Facility" (draft), Aug. 26, Foster to Eggleston, "Proposal for Cataloging of Lunar Samples by Elbert A. King and Donald A. Flory," Aug. 17, 1964; Foster to Faget, "Requirement for Laboratory Facilities for Receiving, Unpacking and Preliminary Examination of Lunar Samples," Aug. 17, Foster to Eggleston, "Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory," Oct. 23, James C. McLane, Jr., to Mgr., Systems Tests and Evaluation, "Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory," Nov. 13, McLane to Mgr., System Tests and Evaluation, "Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory," Dec. 18, Homer E. Newell to Harry H. Hess, Dec. 8, Hess to Newell, with encl., "Report of Ad Hoc Committee on Lunar Sample Handling Facility," Feb. 2, Ibid. 14. McLane to Chief, Facilities Div., "FY 67 C of F Program," with encl., "Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory Project Description and Project Justification," Jan. 20, Foster to Faget, "Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory," Feb. 24, Faget to Foster, "MSC Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory," Mar. 22,

75 17. Q. G. Robb to Chief, Test Facilities Branch, "Background Material on the Lunar Sample Facility," Apr. 6, Hess to Newell, Feb. 2, See the testimony of Dr. Colin S. Pittendrigh in Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, Scientists' Testimony on Space Goals, 88/1, June 10-11, 1963, pp Pittendrigh cited the same estimate of the probability of life in the universe as that given by Su-Shu Huang ("Occurrence of Life in the Universe," American Scientist 47 (1959): ), who estimated that one billion billion (10 E18) planets in the observable universe might be sites for the evolution of life. See also the report of the biology working group in A Review of Space Research, pp. 9-1 to 9-4, 9-6. For a discussion of the arguments concerning life in the solar system, see Edward Clinton Ezell and Linda Neumann Ezell, On Mars: Exploration of the Red Planet, , NASA SP-4212 (Washington, 1984), pp ; see also their bibliography, p. 482, and survey of preliminary results of the life-detecting experiments on the Viking landing missions, pp Minutes, meeting of the Exobiology Committee of the Space Science Board, Feb. 20, 1960, cited in Space Science Board, "Conference on Potential Hazards of Back Contamination from the Planets, July 29-30, 1964" (advance copy), no date [Aug. 1964]. 21. A Review of Space Research, p Homer E. Newell, Beyond the Atmosphere: Early Years of Space Science, NASA SP-4211 (Washington, 1980), pp Ibid. 24. Space Science Board, "Conference on Potential Hazards of Back Contamination." 25. Eggleston to multiple addressees, "Sterilization precautions and quarantine of astronauts and equipment following Apollo missions," Feb. 5, Orr E. Reynolds to Assoc. Adm. for Space Science and Applications, "Responsibility for Space Quarantine," July 2, Eggleston to multiple addressees, "Sterilization precautions...," Feb. 5, 1965; Eggleston to multiple addressees, "Recommendations on NASA Position on Sterilization and Quarantine of Apollo Astronauts and Equipment," Feb. 19, Reynolds to Assoc. Adm. for SSA, "Status of the Public Health Service-National Aeronautics and Space Administration negotiations on back contamination," May 10, W. E. Stoney, Jr., to Chief, Engineering Div., "Support Information for FY 67 C of F Project - Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory" July 30, 1965; Hall to Ed Chao, "Engineering Study and Preliminary Engineering Report for Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory," July 1,

76 30. Reynolds to the record, "Summary of meeting between representatives of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Public Health Service, July 31, 1965," Aug. 17, W. W. Kemmerer, Jr., and E. A. King, Jr., to Faget, "Proposed MSC Quarantine Policy for the Apollo Program," with encl., "Proposed Quarantine Policy for Apollo Program," Sept. 23, Elbert A. King, Jr., interview with Loyd S. Swenson, May 27, 1971, tape in JSC History Office files; Kemmerer and King to the record, "Summary of a meeting between representatives of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Public Health Service and the Department of Agriculture, MSC, Houston, Texas, September 27, 1965," Sept. 30, Lawrence B. Hall to Deputy Adm., "Informal Conference on Back Contamination Problems," Oct. 15, Owen E. Maynard to PS Branches, "Earth contamination from lunar surface organisms," Oct. 29, King interview. 36. Hugh L. Dryden to William H. Stewart, Nov. 15, Stewart to Webb, Dec. 22, Deputy Dir., Space Medicine (OMSF), TWX to McLane, Nov. 22, 1965; McLane to A. C. Bond, "Hqs. Request for Quarantine Fac[ility]. Study," Nov. 22, Faget to Col. Jack Bollerud, "Study of Existing Personnel Quarantine Facilities," with encl., "Apollo Personnel Quarantine Facilities Review," Dec. 8, W. David Compton and Charles D. Benson, Living and Working in Space: A History of Skylab, NASA SP-4208 (Washington, 1983), pp. 40, House Committee on Science and Astronautics, 1967 NASA Authorization, Hearings on H.R , 89/ 2, pt. 1, Mar. 10, 1966, p Ibid., p Idem, 1967 NASA Authorization, Hearings before the Subcommittee on Manned Space Flight on H. R , 89/2, pt. 2, Mar. 1, 1966, p Ibid., pp Ibid., p Ibid., pp

77 47. Arthur Hill, "Lab Delay May Slow Mission To the Moon," Houston Chronicle, Mar. 10, Robert F. Freitag to George M. Low, Mar. 14, MSC, "Site Investigation Study, Lunar Receiving Laboratory," draft report, Mar. 24, 1966, unpaginated. The final version was distributed on Apr Ibid. 51. Paul E. Purser to Gilruth and Low, Mar. 29, 1966; Purser to Freitag, "Supplementary Information on the Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Mar. 30, House, 1967 NASA Authorization, pt. 2, Mar. 31, 1966, pp Charles Culhane, "Panel for Restoring Funds for Moon Lab," Houston Post, Apr. 1, House Committee on Science and Astronautics, Authorizing Appropriations to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, House Rept. 1441, 89/2, Apr. 20, 1966, pp "$4.9-Billion Is Voted For NASA By House," New York Times, May 5, House Committee on Appropriations, Independent Offices Appropriation Bill, 1967, House Rept. 1477, 89/2, May 5, 1966, pp Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, NASA Authorization for Fiscal Year 1967, Senate Rept. 1184, 89/2, May 23, 1966, pp NASA Off. of Legislative Affairs,, "Legislative Activity Report," vol. V., no. 141, Aug. 24, Jane Van Nimmen and Leonard C. Bruno, with Robert L. Rosholt, NASA Historical Data Book, , vol. I: NASA Resources, NASA SP-4012 (Washington, 1976), p Leo T. Zbanek to Chief, Facilities Div., "Lunar Sample Handling Facility," Mar. 5, 1965; Faget to Foster, "MSC Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory," Mar. 22, 1965; OSSA Ad Hoc Committee on the Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory, "Concepts, Functional Requirements, Specifications and Recommended Plan of Operation for the Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory," Mar. 15, 1965; McLane to J. G. Griffith, "Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory," Apr. 8, 1965; Gilruth to Chief, Engineering Div., "Formation of a Technical Working Committee for the Design of a Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory and Designation as Consultants to Assist in the Selection of an Architect-Engineer Firm," June 14, 1965; Foster to Faget, "Membership of the Headquarters Advisory Committee on Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory," July 14, 1965; Foster to Dir., Facilities Programming and Construction, "Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory," Aug. 19, 1965; Foster to George M. Low, "Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory," Aug. 25, 1965; OSSA Standing Committee on LSRL, "Review of the Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) of the Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory (LSRL)," Nov. 10, 1965; Low to Foster through Dr. George E. Mueller, "Manned Space Science Standing Committee for the Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory," Dec. 9,

78 61. House, 1967 NASA Authorization, pt. 2, Mar. 1, 1966, p Dave W. Lang to George J. Vecchietti, "Schedule of Procurement Actions - Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Apr. 30, MSC Announcement 66-57, "Establishment of a Lunar Receiving Laboratory Policy Board and a Lunar Receiving Laboratory Program Office," May 9, D. D. Wyatt, "Lunar Receiving Facility, memo for record, Manned Spacecraft Center," June 14, Mueller to MSC, TWX, subj.: "Lunar Receiving Laboratory," July 28, NASA Releases , Aug. 1, 1966, and , Aug. 19, Space Science Board, "Report of Ad Hoc Committee on Lunar Sample Handling Facility," Feb. 2, King interview. 69. OSSA Ad Hoc Committee on the Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory, "Concepts for the Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory," Mar. 15, 1965, p McLane to Mgr., Systems Tests and Evaluation, "Staffing for the Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory," Sept. 2, Urner Liddell to Chmn., Space Science Steering Committee, "Recommendations of Planetology Subcommittee, Meeting 3-66, February 23-25, 1966," no date. 72. "Summary Minutes, Lunar Receiving Laboratory Working Group of the Planetology Subcommittee, Space Sciences Steering Committee (Meeting No. 1-66)," May 5, McLane to Dir., Engineering and Development, "Estimate of scientist staffing requirements for the Lunar Receiving Laboratory," May 25, House Committee on Science and Astronautics, 1968 NASA Authorization, hearings before the Subcommittee on Manned Space Flight, 90/1, pt. 2, p "Summary Minutes, Lunar Receiving Laboratory Working Group of the Planetology Subcommittee, Space Sciences Steering Committee (Meeting No. 1-67)," July 11, Joseph R. Crump to Purser, with encl., "Concerning a Contract for Lunar Receiving Laboratory," July 27,

79 77. Draft memo, Gilruth to Mueller, "Procurement Plan for Operational Support Services Contract for the Manned Spacecraft Center Lunar Receiving Laboratory," with encl., procurement plan, no date [c. Sept. 5, 1966]. 78. Gilruth to Lt. Gen. Frank A. Bogart, Oct. 12, J. E. Riley to Mr. Cariski, "MSC Procurement Plan for Operational Support of Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Oct. 18, 1966; Bogart to Mr. Webb, "Meeting with Dr. Seitz on the Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Nov. 7, 1966; Purser, "Lunar Receiving Laboratory Operations Planning," memo for the record, Nov. 7, 1966; Robert O. Piland to Deputy Dir., "Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Nov. 8, 1966; Wesley L. Hjornevik, TWX to Bogart, Dec. 15, 1966; Francis B. Smith to Webb and Seamans, "December 1966 meeting to discuss plans for the Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Dec. 19, Smith to Webb and Seamans, "December 1966 meeting...," Dec. 19, Willis M. Shapley to Mueller and Newell, "Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Dec. 21, "Summary Minutes, Lunar Receiving Laboratory Working Group of the Planetology Subcommittee, Space Science Steering Committee (Meeting No. 2-67)," Sept , 1966; Lunar Receiving Laboratory Working Group to Newell through Planetology Subcommittee, Sept. 29, 1966; Bogart to Low, Sept. 22, 1966; "Minutes, Interagency Committee on Back Contamination," Oct. 3, 1966; David J. Sencer to Seamans, Nov. 14, 1966; G. Briggs Phillips to Bogart, with encl., "Status Report on the Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Dec. 13, 1966; Melvin Calvin to Newell, Dec. 29, 1966; Richard J. Allenby to Assoc. Adm. for Space Science and Applications, "Lunar Receiving Laboratory Problems," Dec. 29, Hjornevik to Bogart, TWX, Dec. 15, 1966; MSC Announcement 67-7, "Organization and Personnel Assignments for the Science and Applications Directorate," Jan. 10, Low to Bogart, Jan. 13, 1967, with encls.: Gilruth to Chief, Procurement and Contracts Div., "Justification (under NPC 401) for nonpersonal service contract for operation of the Manned Spacecraft Center Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Jan. 13, 1967; Piland to Chief, Procurement and Contracts Div., "Justification for noncompetitive procurement for operational support of the Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Jan. 13,

80 5 SELECTING AND TRAINING THE CREWS Introduction From the moment the lunar landing was proposed as the primary goal of manned space flight, NASA officials and outside scientists debated the qualifications of the people who would land on the moon. Scientists urged that at least one of the crew should be a scientist with enough experience to assess the significant features of the landing site quickly and accurately and to collect samples with discrimination. Those responsible for mission operations and crew training insisted that mission success and crew safety could be assured only if every crew member were a skilled pilot, preferably a test pilot, able to complete a mission alone if that unlikely situation should ever arise. Once the many unknowns in lunar landing operations were better understood, it might be considered safe to take along a person with different qualifications. 1 Finding crew members who combined the experience of a scientist with the skills of a test pilot proved impossible. For the first five years, during the experimental and developmental phase of the Apollo program, piloting experience took precedence over scientific training as a requirement for admission to the astronaut corps. Later, as missions devoted largely to scientific operations were contemplated, scientists were admitted and trained as pilots

81 Test-Pilot Astronauts Before Project Mercury, design concepts for manned spacecraft were constrained by a lack of hard facts about the human ability to function in the space environment. Many believed that electronic systems, controlled from the ground or programmed for specific contingencies, offered the only safe and practical means of operating a spacecraft. From this point of view, the person in the spacecraft was simply a passenger, an experimental subject whose main function would be to provide the physiological data needed to define the limits of a human's role in space. Mercury's designers did not completely agree with this philosophy; they conceived a spacecraft in which the pilot could take control of critical systems if necessary and would have some measure of control at all times. 2 Within months of the start of Project Mercury NASA selected its first group of pilots for the early earth-orbital flights. The "Original Seven," all military test pilots* with strong engineering backgrounds, were volunteers picked from a list of more than a hundred men provided by the Pentagon [see Appendix 6]. 3 In view of Mercury's experimental character, the choice of test pilots was appropriate; they were accustomed to dealing with emergencies under stressful conditions and were familiar with the physical and psychological stresses of high-speed flight in unproven aircraft. In choosing test pilots as its first astronauts, NASA came down on the side of people as active participant in spacecraft operations. It was yet to be shown how much humans could effectively participate, but the astronauts in the first group insisted on giving the pilot as much responsibility for control of the spacecraft as feasible; if the pilot did not operate the spacecraft, what was the point of a person in space (especially a test pilot)? Most of the engineers in the Space Task Group agreed with this viewpoint. In light of their long NACA experience with piloted aircraft, they too inclined toward giving pilots all the control they could safely handle. 4 When the first group of astronauts entered the program in April 1959, Project Mercury and the Space Task Group were organizationally in flux. As a result, the Original Seven defined the role of the astronaut for the entire Apollo program. Administratively they reported not to any project office but directly to Robert R. Gilruth, director of the Space Task Group. For most of Gilruth's career in NACA he had worked with pilots, and he took a special interest in this group. Shortly after the astronauts reported aboard he assured them that whenever they had serious concern with any aspect of spacecraft design or mission operations he would see that they were listened to. 5 Given this kind of autonomy the astronauts were considerably more than pilots in training to operate a new vehicle. While undergoing training they also took an active part in reviews of spacecraft design and operations planning, offered suggestions from the pilot's point of view, and contributed to the design of the flight simulators that soon became an important part of astronaut training. Each person was assigned an area of spacecraft systems or operations planning (e.g., attitude-control systems, communications, recovery operations) as a prime responsibility; in his specialty he closely followed devel- * NASA originally intended to issue a general solicitation of applications for the position of "research astronaut-candidate," and considered that several occupations besides test pilot might qualify. President Eisenhower, however, directed the agency to select its astronauts from the ranks of military test pilots; this would simplify selection, keep out undesirable applicants, and eliminate the need to run security checks on the candidates

82 opments and served as the point of contact between his astronaut colleagues and project engineers. 6 Training was strongly engineering- and operations-oriented, a pattern that would be carried into subsequent projects. Scientists Call for Representation on Apollo Crews NASA's scientific advisory community first addressed the role of the astronaut in space science at the Iowa Summer Study in 1962 [see Chapter 2 and Chapter 3]. Concerning humans on the moon, the study report stated the belief that it is extremely important for at least one crew member of each Apollo lunar mission to possess the maximum scientific ability and training consistent with his required contribution to spacecraft operations. This person should participate "in the earliest possible lunar missions," and, since the chosen mode of operations called for only two men on the lunar surface, "the maximum scientific return will be achieved only if the scientist himself lands on the Moon." 7 A working group of the 1962 summer study considered in detail the role of people in space exploration, formulating the scientists' position with reference to science missions of many types, not merely lunar exploration. The group defined several combinations of scientific and astronautic skills that would be appropriate for different degrees of scientific participation in manned space missions. At the top of the scale was the "scientist-astronaut"; fully trained both as a scientist and as an astronaut, he could operate the spacecraft as well as make valid scientific observations. For the long term, the working group recommended creating an Institute for Advanced Space Study - a graduate-level institute with a unique curriculum in which candidates holding bachelor's degrees would be trained as scientist-astronauts [see Chapter 3]. Meanwhile, aspirants to this position should be recruited from among qualified scientists and trained to achieve comparable qualifications as astronauts. 8 The working group recognized that no such scientist-astronauts could be trained in time for a lunar landing within the decade. For the short term, they acknowledged that the best course was to give qualified astronauts as much training in science as possible, so that they could be useful observers for the scientist on the ground. These "astronaut-observers" were expected to play a role in lunar exploration even after fully trained scientist-astronauts became available. Others who would be important in conducting space science missions were the "ground scientist," a scientist thoroughly familiar with all the details of space flight operations, who would direct the activities of the astronaut-observer from the ground; and the "scientist-passenger,"* a scientist physically qualified for space flight but not trained to operate the spacecraft. 9 Not surprisingly, the summer study report repeatedly emphasized the need for the scientist-astronaut to keep up with his science; the scientist who does not maintain a continuous research program falls behind his colleagues who do and loses his standing in the scientific community. At the same time, the tone of the working group's findings implied that the techniques of operating the spacecraft could be learned by any intelligent person in a couple of years and were therefore of subsidiary importance. The level of comprehension of the astronaut's task was indicated by the responses - summarized in the * Fifteen years would pass before NASA had scientist-passengers, now known as "mission specialists" and "payload specialists," who began flying on Shuttle missions in the early 1980s

83 report - to a questionnaire sent by the Space Science Board to a number of scientists. On the question of whether the first scientist on the moon should also be an astronaut, the consensus of those responding was: Of course. He should be familiar with all aspects of the spacecraft and be able to take over in an emergency. However, his qualification as a crew member would not depend so much on his ability as a space-pilot as on his scientific aptitude. To the question of how astronaut-scientists should be developed, the scientists replied that graduate students or early postdoctoral fellows should be picked and trained for at least four or five years. They should go through astronaut training for part of each year to become familiar with the problems of space flight. It is hoped that this would not involve too large a fraction of their time [emphasis added], since emphasis should be on their development as scientists. 10 In 1962, of course, few people fully understood the demands that would be made of Apollo crews; but if these statements reflected opinions widely held in the science community concerning the training required to become a proficient astronaut, it is not surprising that misunderstandings developed when the time came to choose crews for the lunar landing missions. Organizing the Astronaut Corps The first group of astronauts immediately became public figures, and as Mercury shifted into flight operations in the closing days of 1961, demands on their time for interviews and personal appearances multiplied. NASA welcomed the publicity for the space program, but this aspect of the astronauts' status often made impossible demands on their heavy training schedule. And when a second program, Gemini, was established late in the year, it was clear that more astronauts would be entering the program, further complicating training and flight preparations. When Space Task Group managers decided that someone should be appointed to organize the astronauts' activities more efficiently, some of the astronauts suggested that they would prefer to have one of their own rather than an outsider in that job. As it happened, one was available. Air Force Captain Donald K. ("Deke") Slayton, assigned to the second Mercury orbital flight, had been grounded a few weeks before the mission when physicians discovered a minor (and, as it turned out, apparently harmless) irregularity in his heartbeat. Although no one could definitely say that Slayton's condition would endanger him or the mission, neither would any medical expert assure NASA that no risk was involved. Prudence, a quality which NASA's high-level managers possessed in full measure, dictated that someone without any detectable abnormality should fly the mission instead, and Slayton was grounded until the physicians could be confident he was physically qualified to fly. 11 Slayton was one of the most experienced of the original seven astronauts. He had flown combat missions in Europe and the Pacific in World War II and had been a test pilot assigned to fighter operations at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base when he was selected as an astronaut. His personal commitment to the manned space program was complete. He had vigorously defended the

84 cause of humans in space before the Society of Experimental Test Pilots when most test pilots, unfamiliar with the actual course that the project was taking, considered that Mercury offered them no future and little valuable experience. His disqualification, especially on physical grounds, was a shock to everyone in the project as well as to the public. It was personally devastating to him; besides losing out in the competition for a space flight assignment, he was forbidden by the Air Force to fly alone in highperformance aircraft. 12 In September 1962 Slayton was appointed Coordinator of Astronaut Activities, reporting to Gilruth. Without complaint, he took over the largely administrative duties of scheduling training activities, visits to contractor plants, and public appearances and interviews with the news media. But the most important responsibility he assumed was that of assigning astronauts to specific missions. This responsibility he shared with no one else; although he had plenty of help in assessing each candidate's personal and professional qualifications and mastery of the spacecraft systems and mission plans, Slayton made the final decision. His decisions stuck: in the entire manned program, from the later Mercury flights through the Skylab missions, he could later recall only one instance in which higher authority challenged his judgment. 13 When the Manned Spacecraft Center was reorganized the following year, Slayton's position was redesignated Assistant Director for Flight Crew Operations, organizationally on a level with the assistant directors* for engineering, flight operations, and administration. 14 For some time he was also chief of the Astronaut Office, the administrative unit that coordinated training and other astronaut activities, and he continued training with the first two groups as much as he could, hoping for eventual reassignment to flying status. Under Deke Slayton the Astronaut Office was run much like a military unit - which for several years it effectively was, since almost all the astronauts were or had been Air Force, Navy, or Marine officers. He encouraged open communication between himself and the astronauts, but expected that when a decision had been made the discussion was finished. As one of the astronauts characterized Slayton's management style, the astronaut's job was "to do what the commanding officer says, and if you (didn't) want to..., the door was always open" 15 - the door marked "this way out." Astronauts came into the program voluntarily and they could always leave the same way. Slayton well understood the position manned space flight occupied in the national space program as a consequence of its prominence in the public eye: any failure, especially one that endangered or killed an astronaut, could set back the lunar landing for years, and might even kill the manned space flight program. His contribution to avoiding failure was to pick the best people for the crews, and as long as manned space flight entailed any hazardous uncertainties, the best people would be experienced test pilots. More Missions, More Astronauts While much was learned from Mercury, much more had to be learned before a lunar mission could be planned. Even before President Kennedy's decision to go to the moon was announced, Space Task Group engineers were planning the second phase of manned space flight. Project Gemini, approved in early December 1961, would test various techniques of rendezvous, determine whether men and sys- * The title "Assistant Director for...," meant "assistant to the director of MSC in charge of... " but was applied to the heads of directorates. This confusing designation was later dropped and chiefs of directorates were called simply "directors of. "

85 tems could survive and function during long missions, investigate the radiation environment in nearearth space, and develop techniques for controlled landings. Twelve missions were planned, ten of them manned, to start in the spring of 1964 and fly at two-month intervals. 16 Additional missions required additional astronauts, and on April 18, 1962, NASA announced it would accept applications for trainees. Once more test pilots were given preference, but the required number of flying hours was reduced, and civilians as well as military pilots were eligible. The upper age limit was reduced from 40 to 35 and the education qualification broadened to include degrees in physical or biological sciences as well as engineering. 17 A list of more than 250 applicants was cut to 32 by preliminary physical and psychological screening. After intensive evaluation in Houston, nine new astronaut trainees were chosen in September 1962: two civilians, four Air Force pilots, and three Navy officers, including some who had applied for the first group but had not been selected [see Appendix 6]. 18 Selection of this group virtually depleted the pool of qualified candidates from the small corps of test pilots in the country, and it was the last group for which test-pilot certification would be a requirement. 19 The new trainees reported at Houston in October 1962 to begin a two-year training course. A four-day work week was normally scheduled, the fifth day being reserved for public relations duties or for travel. 20 After two weeks of orientation to NASA's organization and familiarization with the nearcomplete Mercury project, the second class, joined by the first group, started on a three-month "basic science" course interspersed with briefings on Gemini and Apollo projects and systems. The classroom work covered astronomy, aerodynamics, rocket propulsion, and the physics of orbital flight and reentry; it included lectures on computers, space physics, and the medical aspects of space flight. Almost one-third of the classroom time was spent on navigation and guidance. In mid-january 1963 the class flew to Flagstaff, Arizona, for a series of geology lectures and field trips conducted by Eugene Shoemaker. 21 As the Apollo program came into clearer focus in 1962, MSC officials saw that they needed still more astronauts. At the end of the year projected manned flights included four development flights of the Saturn I, four of the Saturn IB (an "uprated" version of the Saturn I), and one of the Saturn V, starting in late 1964 and flying at three-month intervals until mid The 16 astronauts in training would not be enough to staff the 10 Gemini missions plus the 9 scheduled for Apollo, and in April 1963 MSC announced its intention to recruit a third class of trainees. 23 On June 18 the Houston center issued its formal call for applications. For this group the requirement for flight experience was relaxed still further: 1,000 hours of jet time could substitute for test-pilot certification. The selection board might consider advanced degrees in engineering or science as offsetting some lack of flight experience. Industry, professional organizations, and the armed services were asked to recommend candidates. 24 Manned space flight chief Brainerd Holmes, acknowledging the Space Science Board's Iowa summer study recommendations, indicated to Congress that scientific qualifications would be taken into account in selecting this group. 25 Of 271 applicants responding, 30 were selected for final screening. On October 18, 1963, MSC announced the names of the newest class of astronaut trainees [see Appendix 6]. Again military officers outnumbered civilians, by 12 to 2.26 (At the end of 1963 the astronaut corps comprised 26 military pilots and 4 civilians, all trained in military service. 27 The new group was distinguished by a large number of advanced degrees: 8 of the 14 had master's degrees and one held a doctorate in astronautics

86 The two civilians were scientists actively engaged in research. Most of the military officers held engineering degrees. In spite of MSC's obvious preference for pilots, the scientific community raised no outcry about the lack of scientists in the astronaut program. Harold Urey, however, publicly reproved the agency, late in the year, for not recruiting geologists to explore the moon. 28 When the new group reported to Houston in January 1964, Slayton had 29 pilots to look after, including 5 Mercury veterans.* The first four men who would walk on the moon were in training, but at the time all attention focused on Gemini, whose first manned launch was scheduled for November Classroom work began in February with a new basic science program, a 20-week series of lectures, briefings, and field trips, strongly oriented toward Gemini but also including substantial chunks of time devoted to geology, which was entirely an Apollo concern. The veterans of the previous year's training skipped parts of this course to spend time in the Gemini simulators, but the geology sessions were required of everyone. Geologists from MSC and from the Geological Survey guided them through the equivalent of a one-semester college course in land forms and land-forming geologic processes, minerals and their origin, and topographic and geologic mapping. Lectures and laboratory work were supplemented by field trips to study the Grand Canyon, the Big Bend area of west Texas, and the volcano fields near Flagstaff, Arizona, and Cimarron, New Mexico. 30 No one expected the astronauts to become fully qualified field geologists as a result of this training, but they could at least learn to interpret what they would see on the moon in terms of its probable geologic history and to recognize important geological specimens if they found any. On the later field trips the geologist-instructors began simulating lunar exploration by sending their pupils into an area with a radio transmitter and instructions to note the geologic features they could see, describe what they considered important, and collect representative samples of rocks and surface material. Their commentary was recorded and the exercise was completed with a detailed critique of their performance. 31 Geology was a new field for most of the engineer-astronauts, rather unlike anything in their experience. What impressed most of them was the large amount of specialized terminology they had to learn-new words having little relation to their accustomed vocabulary. Instructors found them willing enough students, for the most part, but highly variable in their response to the course. Some seemed to be born observers and quickly developed the knack of picking out the distinguishing geologic features of an area and describing them in geologist's terms; others had more difficulty acquiring the field geologist's eye. Apart from the problem of adjusting to a new discipline with a novel point of view, the astronauts faced the question of how heavily their performance in geology would count when the time came to select flight crews. Seniority and flying experience seemed to be of prime importance in determining who got the assignments for Apollo flights, and it was important to get picked as early as possible for a Gemini crew. Well aware that no one could completely master every aspect of training, the astronauts sought to shine in those aspects that were most likely to attract Slayton's attention. For the short-term future at least, geology seemed fairly far down the priority list. 32 * John Glenn resigned from the program in January 1964 to enter business (and later, politics). Another Mercury astronaut, Scott Carpenter, would soon be devoting most of his time to the Navy's Project Sealab, an experimental underwater habitat, although he would retain formal affiliation with the astronaut program for another three and a half years

87 Moving Into Flight Operations After a problem-filled 1963, Project Gemini looked toward better things in The first flight test of the spacecraft and its Titan II launch vehicle went off on April 11, raising hopes of a manned flight before year's end. 33 Two days later, the Manned Spacecraft Center announced the names of the first crews for the two-man earth-orbital missions. As might have been expected, the Commander of the first Gemini mission was one of the Original Seven, Virgil I. ("Gus") Grissom, who had ridden the second suborbital Mercury flight in July Paired with Grissom was one of the second astronaut group, John W. Young. Their backup crew likewise had a representative from each of the first two astronaut classes, Walter M. Schirra, Jr., pilot on Mercury-Atlas 8, and Thomas P. Stafford. 34 A week after the announcement, the four Gemini crewmen headed into a full mission-specific training schedule. At the spacecraft builder's plant in St. Louis, at MSC in Houston, and at the Cape in Florida they put in long hours learning the design and function of the spacecraft systems, following the assembly and testing of their spacecraft, attending briefings on program and mission objectives, and practicing such tasks as getting out of a floating spacecraft. Simulators duplicated as closely as possible most of the conditions of launch, orbital flight, and recovery (weightlessness being a notable exception), and in these simulators the crews practiced normal operations as well as all the likely malfunctions their training officers could think of [See Appendix 7 for a summary discussion of simulation and training]. Occasional trips to the Navy's man-rated centrifuge in Johnsville, Pennsylvania, gave them practice in enduring the acceleration forces ("g-loads") of launch and reentry. Training stretched from a planned 7 months to 1 when their flight was delayed by problems with the second unmanned test, and by the time their flight was ready for launch on March 23, 1965, the crews would have been hard to surprise with anything that might come up. 35 When crews were named on July 27, 1964, for the second Gemini mission, Slayton broke the pattern of designating an orbital veteran as commander, choosing four inexperienced men for Gemini IV even though one Mercury astronaut had not yet been assigned.* James A. McDivitt and Edward H. White II were named commander and pilot of the prime crew, backed up by Frank Borman and James A. Lovell, Jr., all members of the second astronaut class. 36 Flight experience seemed clearly to be a factor in Slayton's choice of crews, but it was just as clearly not the only factor. L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., pilot on the 34-hour, 22-orbit Mercury 9 mission, was not assigned until the Gemini V crew was named in February 1965; his pilot was Charles ("Pete") Conrad, Jr., of the second group. Their backups, both from the second group, were Neil A. Armstrong and Elliott M. See, Jr. 37 After Grissom and Young completed Gemini 3, Slayton announced that their backup crew, Schirra and Stafford, would be the prime crew for Gemini VI, backed up by Grissom and Young. To trainees eagerly seeking some clue to their prospects for flight assignment, this signaled that appointment to a backup crew was the key to flying a mission. The system Slayton followed, as long as circumstances permitted, was to promote each backup crew to prime crew of the next available mission after their own prime crew had flown. Each flight had different objectives, requiring different training, and the prime and backup crews had to train as a team to perform most efficiently. Almost to a man, the * Of the Original Seven, Glenn had resigned, Carpenter was working in Project Sealab, and Slayton was medically disqualified At the press conference naming the Gemini 3 crews it was also announced that Alan Shepard was suffering from a middle-ear inflammation that grounded him as well. (Later that year Shepard took over from Slayton as chief of the Astronaut Office.) Only Cooper remained unassigned at this time

88 astronauts professed being in the dark as to exactly how Slayton chose crew members for their first assignment, but that did not matter once they perceived that when they were named to a backup crew they were, at last, in line for a flight assignment. 38 Selection of the First Scientist-Astronauts As the Office of Manned Space Flight began to consider post-apollo possibilities in , science-oriented missions - lunar exploration and earth-orbital missions of many days' duration - appeared to be the most acceptable of a very few alternatives. The principal theme of George Mueller's expositions to Congress was the continued use of Apollo's rockets, spacecraft, and launch facilities to conduct scientific and technological investigations on the moon and in space - to produce a return on the nation's investment in manned space flight. Mueller's proposals were criticized as unimaginative and not conducive to the advancement of space technology, but none of NASA's top managers was willing to advocate bolder programs under the budgetary restraints that were becoming apparent in For any serious scientific work the crews in the spacecraft would have to include some scientists trained as astronauts rather than astronauts trained as scientific observers; and early in 1964 selection of scientists for the astronaut program began. MSC officials and representatives of the National Academy of Sciences met in February to draft a plan for recruitment and selection. Agreement was reached that the Academy would define the scientific qualifications desirable in the candidates while MSC would specify the physical and psychological requirements. On April 16 Homer Newell formally asked Harry Hess, chairman of the Space Science Board, to draw up a statement of the scientific qualifications for a scientist-astronaut. 40 In Mid-October, Headquarters announced that it would accept applications from scientists who wanted to become astronauts. The primary requirement was a doctorate in medicine, engineering, or one of the natural sciences. No applicant had to be a qualified pilot; those accepted by the Space Science Board and by NASA would be assigned to the Air Force for a year of flying training. 41 Any doubt that scientists were interested in space flight was dispelled by the response: more than a thousand hopefuls sent in their applications. An ad hoc committee of the Space Science Board (chaired in Hess's absence by Eugene Shoemaker) rigorously scrutinized about 400 of those who passed NASA's preliminary screening, finally sending only 16 names to NASA for final evaluation. 42 MSC had hoped for a larger group to choose from; Slayton's selection board had much less information on the applicants' physical condition and psychological makeup than they had for military applicants, and the choices were consequently harder to make. 43 The Space Science Board, however, was evidently determined to pick only the most promising scientists. Shoemaker later recalled that the committee had been disappointed in the overall quality of the applications that came in. Not many of the scientists who applied came up to the rather high standards they set. 44 Whatever the reasons for this, NASA was able to pick only 6 scientist-astronauts instead of 10 or more, as it had initially planned. On June 27, 1965, NASA announced the names of its first scientist-astronaut candidates: two physicians, Duane M. Graveline and Lt. Cmdr. Joseph P. Kerwin, MC, USN, and four Ph.D. scientists, F. Curtis Michel, Edward G. Gibson, Owen K. Garriott, and Harrison H. Schmitt (who was generally known by his nickname, "Jack"). 45 Kerwin was a flight surgeon stationed at Cecil Naval Air Station in Florida; Graveline, a former Air Force flight surgeon, was working in the medical program at MSC

89 Gibson, a senior research scientist at the Applied Research Laboratories of Philco's Aeronutronics Division in San Diego, California, and Garriott, associate professor of physics at Stanford University, were both engineers engaged in research in solar and atmospheric physics. Michel was an assistant professor of physics at Rice University in Houston conducting research in the interaction of the solar wind with the earth's atmosphere. Schmitt, the lone geologist in the group, was working with Eugene Shoemaker at the Geological Survey's Astrogeology Branch. The only qualified pilots in the group were Michel, a former Air Force pilot, and Kerwin, a naval aviator. The other four were sent to Williams Air Force Base in Arizona to begin 55 weeks of flying training. 46 Within a few weeks Graveline resigned from the program, citing "personal reasons" for his actions. 47 Future Plans Require Yet More Astronauts From 1964 through 1966 George Mueller, chief of manned space flight programs, worked hard to sell an ambitious post-apollo program to his NASA superiors and to Congress. His Apollo Applications Program (AAP), established in August 1965, contemplated 29 lunar and earth-orbital missions between 1968 and Two-thirds of them would be manned flights, launched at the rate of eight per year. A manned program of that magnitude seemed to have little chance of becoming reality, but until circumstances forced him to back down from it, Mueller kept the pressure on the field centers to plan for big things. 48 At Houston, Bob Gilruth and Deke Slayton - whatever their own views about the probability that such an ambitious schedule could be realized - had to be prepared to furnish crews for whatever emerged as the Apollo Applications Program. If the projected AAP missions should actually materialize, many crews would be needed in short order and training had to begin soon. While the recruitment of scientist-astronauts was under way, Gilruth and Slayton urged that additional pilot candidates be sought at the same time, but Mueller decided to wait until the scientist-astronauts had been chosen. 49 When Only six trainees emerged from that selection process, he agreed to go ahead. On September 10, 1965, Headquarters announced it would accept applications for a new class of pilot-astronauts. Qualifications would be the same as they had been for the third group: a bachelor's degree in science or engineering plus 1,000 hours of jet flying time or qualification as a test pilot. 50 The announcement yielded 351 applicants - the largest number of pilots ever to apply - of whom 159 met the basic requirements. Final screening during the next four months produced the fifth class of astronaut candidates in April 1966: 19 pilots, 4 civilians and 15 military officers [see Appendix 6]. Eleven of the fifth group held advanced degrees, two of them doctorates. 51 Headquarters Expands the Ranks of Scientist-Astronauts In mid-1966, when the scientist-astronauts had completed their flying training and the third group of pilots had reported aboard, the astronaut corps numbered 44 pilots* and 5 scientists (or 41 and 8, depending on how Cunningham, Schweickart, and Lind were classified) - a ratio that hardly supported the contention that NASA was interested in sending scientists into space. At the Manned Spacecraft Center, Deke Slayton and Bob Gilruth considered that they had quite enough pilots to carry out the programs they could realistically envision and that pilots could be trained to conduct the scientific work that was planned for the lunar landing missions. At Headquarters, however, both Homer Newel! in the Office of Space Science and Applications and George Mueller in the Office of Manned Space

90 Flight thought otherwise. Newell, representing the science community, wanted manned space flight to give more attention to science and less to the engineering and piloting aspects of space flight. Mueller, trying hard to sell an ambitious program of post-apollo manned missions based largely on scientific research in space, could use more scientists in the astronaut corps to give credibility to his appeals to Congress and to gain political support from scientists outside NASA. In spite of Houston's reluctance to take on astronaut trainees who would have little expectation of flying in space, Headquarters and the National Academy of Sciences announced on September 26, 1966, that applications would be accepted for a second group of scientists to be trained as astronauts. Selection would be made in about six months. 52 By the time they came aboard, however, post-apollo manned space flight programs were in a precarious position and the future looked much less bright [see Chapter 7]. The chances seemed good that any scientist who went to the moon would be one of the first five already in the program. * Three astronaut trainees had been killed in flying accidents in the previous two years. Ted Freeman's T-38 hit a goose near MSC on Oct. 31, 1964, causing both engines to flame out; he ejected but was too low for his parachute to open. Elliott See and Charles Bassett, prime crew for Gemini IX, crashed on Feb. 28, 1966, after missing a landing approach at St. Louis Municipal Airport under marginal weather conditions. Scientists in the Astronaut Corps During 1965 and 1966 the Manned Spacecraft Center was busier than it had ever been. Gemini flights were being launched from Cape Canaveral every other month, on average. The Apollo command and service module was progressing, not without difficulty, toward its first earth-orbital flight test. Mission planners were hard at work on lunar-mission trajectories and contingency planning. Others were studying photographs of the lunar surface from Ranger and Surveyor, looking for suitable landing sites and scrutinizing the barren surface for possible unwelcome surprises. Still to come were the extensive and detailed photographs from Lunar Orbiter. The Astronaut Office was as busy as the rest of the Center. All of the remaining "Original Seven," plus the "Next Nine" and 10 of "The Fourteen" (third group) were training for and flying the Gemini missions. By the end of 1966 crews for the first four Apollo earth-orbital missions had been assigned and were spending much of their time in design reviews and flight simulations. Russell Schweickart, one of the two scientists picked as a pilot, was serving as a kind of ombudsman, mediating between the astronaut office and the experimenters who had projects on Gemini. 53 His compatriot Waiter Cunningham was sent to the Falmouth conference in mid-1965 to explain to scientists some of the operational factors that so strongly constrained a lunar landing mission. 54 Two of the first five scientist-astronauts, Joe Kerwin and Curt Michel, did not start basic astronaut training during their first year, and so were assigned to represent the Astronaut Office in matters concerning space suits and Apollo Applications experiments, respectively. 55 The other three, Owen Garriott, Ed Gibson, and Jack Schmitt, drew assignments to Apollo in-flight experiments when they returned from flight training in mid-year, as did Don Lind, the scientist who came in as a pilot with the fourth group? Before long, however, Schmitt was working with academic and Geological Survey scientists to improve MSC's training course in field geology

91 Schmitt was fortunate in having a scientific specialty that was widely accepted as being important to Apollo. The other scientist-astronauts - except for Kerwin, whose medical training could be applied to a number of space-related questions - found themselves in an environment oriented almost exclusively to operational and engineering concerns. Independent research was all but impossible; only Curt Michel - whose academic home base was Rice University, less than an hour's drive from MSC - made an attempt to sustain his previous research program. Owen Garriott and Ed Gibson had to redirect their scientific interests into fields more closely related to NASA's needs and plans. 57 Apart from the time they had to devote to mastering astronautic skills, the scientists had to spend long hours on chores that sometimes seemed distinctly subsidiary to the main objectives. Among the duties of the Astronaut Office were making public relations appearances, participating in design reviews, and contributing the astronaut viewpoint to engineering decisions; the scientist-astronauts were expected to shoulder their share of these burdens just as the test pilots did. Precious little time was left for keeping abreast of scientific developments, but in Slayton's view this was a problem each astronaut had to solve for himself. 58 Nobody was told what he could not do, but it was understood that the astronauts' primary role was to become competent spacecraft operators, and whatever else they wanted to do had to be compatible with that; as long as it was, the Astronaut Office raised no objection to anyone's supplemental activities. 59 Those who made the adjustment gained the respect of their pilot colleagues; those who expressed annoyance at these ancillary duties and felt cheated out of scientific opportunities provoked some resentment. 60 After all, the door was always open. When the first scientist-astronauts joined the program in 1965, it was not to be expected that science could simply force its way into Apollo, which had yet to fly its first test mission. Nonetheless, the scientific community wanted to make it clear that scientist-astronauts were entitled to consideration of their professional scientific requirements. In the fall of 1965 Headquarters's Manned Space Science Division commissioned a study group to look into the matter of astronaut training. After some weeks of discussion with MSC officials, the group concluded that the astronaut training program was much too short on science. More scientist-astronauts should be brought in as early as possible, to provide more scientific resources for the manned space flight program. The scientist-astronauts should be used as inhouse tutors for other astronauts who wanted to improve their scientific background. The Astronaut Office should actively encourage the astronauts to develop their scientific skills by issuing a policy statement that "after engineering evaluation flights are completed and a spacecraft is considered operational, scientific proficiency shall be a prime requisite for at least one member of each flight crew." Anything that seemed to increase their chances of flight assignment was of vital interest to every person in the corps, the group had learned. (If Slayton wanted someone on a crew who could speak Mandarin Chinese, one of the astronauts told the study group, they would all be studying Mandarin Chinese.) Therefore, if MSC made it clear that scientific proficiency was desirable for crew selection, even the pilot-astronauts could develop a passion for science. 61 Perhaps the most difficult recommendation to implement was that the scientist-astronauts be encouraged to keep up their research activity by affiliating with an established research group. "The minimum amount of time required to maintain scientific proficiency," the group concluded, "is believed to be one day per week for discussions, seminars, etc.," plus "one full week each month in which the scientistastronaut can become completely immersed in his research." The group could not suggest how this could be squeezed into an already tight training schedule, but they noted that astronauts spent considerable time at seemingly trivial tasks in engineering design that might be relegated to others. Paradoxi

92 cally, however, these time-consuming chores seemed an indispensable part of the program, since the astronauts were the only competent group having an overview of the whole operation, and were "the only single group that another astronaut will trust." 62 Stressing as it did the importance of research to a scientist, the study group's report could have been read as calling for a division of the corps into a test-pilot group and a scientist group. The scientistastronauts' need to spend more than one-third of their time in research was received with some skepticism by the pilots, whose reaction was later summarized by one of them: [Some] of those guys came in figuring, "I'll write my textbooks and my thesis and teach [university courses] and I'll come by twice a week and be an astronaut." Well, that didn't work.. We were devoting our lives to this whole thing, and you couldn't devote anything less, I don't care what your discipline was. 63 The issue did not become divisive because the scientist-astronauts themselves accurately perceived the situation they were in and most of them did not try to make the system fit their unique needs. They saw the utility of the maxim, "if you want to get along, go along." The study group's report was received politely but coolly at MSC.64 If Mercury and Gemini had shown anything, it was that the unexpected may turn out to be the norm, and no one knew how well a scientist, however skilled and intelligent, would react to sudden operational emergencies. On the other hand, appropriate reaction to such situations was believed to be almost instinctive to a good test pilot. Slayton and Gilruth, pondering the problem of landing an exotic spacecraft on a strange and possibly dangerous surface, naturally adopted the view that piloting skills were essential to mission success. Slayton repeatedly expressed this view in plain language: nobody would benefit from a mission that left a dead geologist (and his colleague in the lunar module) on the moon65 - implying that just such a thing might happen if the pilot of the lunar landing module could not cope quickly enough with a sudden emergency. So it was up to the scientists to prove that they could become competent astronauts, which most of them did. None would ever command an Apollo mission; none would ever pilot a lunar module to a moon landing or a command module through reentry; but they showed themselves able to tackle the training program and willing to share the less pleasant but essential duties of an astronaut. Of the first six scientists picked as astronauts, four eventually flew in space. Many of the others filled essential roles in science planning and mission operations during the later Apollo missions

93 Notes: 1. MSC's philosophy of astronaut selection and training was well summarized in a memo by Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., of MSC's Flight Operations Division in late Commenting on an article in a national magazine, wherein it was speculated that future astronauts might be computer experts rather than test pilots, Kraft wrote, "It is our feeling that you must use people who are adapted to taking action should emergencies develop and who are well trained in this category. We feel that you can then take this type of individual... and give him the necessary training in the other fields such as navigation and guidance, geology, etc. The primary need is for spacecraft control, at least in the programs presently planned (Gemini and Apollo), and these people can be trained to accomplish the explorations presently envisioned [emphasis added]. When you get to the point of conducting experiments in space, such as you would do in the Space Station,... we would probably use engineers and scientists who were experts in a given field. However, the people responsible for control of the vehicle ferrying these types of experts to and from the Space Station, and the people on board the Space Station responsible for emergency action will probably still be in the same category as test pilots." C. C. Kraft, Jr., to A. M. Chop, "Article on Astronaut Selection in November 7 issue of Time Magazine," Nov. 8, This basic philosophy has been followed for 20 years, right down to the operational flights of the Shuttle orbiter. 2. Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., James M. Grimwood, and Charles C. Alexander, This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury, NASA SP-4201 (Washington, 1966), p Ibid., pp. 131, Ibid., p Ibid., p. 235; John H. Glenn, Jr., interview with Robert B. Merrifield, Mar. 15, 1968, transcript in JSC History Office files. For a colorful account of the beginning of the manned space flight program, including the choice of test pilots as the Original Seven astronauts and their experiences through the Mercury program, see Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1979). Wolfe's literary style is objectionable to many, but his treatment of Mercury is (to the present author's knowledge) well researched and is considered by many Mercury participants to accurately convey the spirit of the early days of manned space flight. 6. Swenson, Grimwood, and Alexander, This New Ocean, pp National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, A Review of Space Research, report of the summer study conducted under the auspices of the Space Science Board, NAS-NRC Publication 1079 (Washington, 1962), p Ibid., pp to Ibid., pp to

94 10. Ibid., pp to Swenson, Grimwood, and Alexander, This New Ocean, pp Ibid., pp. In, Donald K. Slayton interview, Oct. 15, Slayton's comments on this case: "There were two situations where we had a strong input from Headquarters. One was on Apollo 13, where for some reason George Mueller didn't like the crew I had assigned to fly 13 and insisted on turning them around.... We wound up switching the 13 and 14 crews around.... The other thing,... on 13, Mattingly had that medical problem [exposure to rubella]...." Alan Shepard was commander of the crew that flew Apollo 14, so the original assignment would have given him command of Apollo 13. At the time those two crews were publicly named (August 1969 Shepard had been back on flight duty less than six months after spending almost five years off the active list for medical reasons. 14. Slayton interview by Robert B. Merrifield, Oct. 17, 1967, transcript in JSC History Office files; MSC Space News Roundup, Sept. 19, 1962; MSC Announcements 190, Apr. 29, 1963, and 268, Nov. 5, Alan L. Bean interview, Apr. 10, Barton C. Hacker and James M. Grimwood, On the Shoulders of Titans: A History of Project Gemini, NASA SP-4203 (Washington, 1977), pp House Committee on Science and Technology, Astronauts and Cosmonauts: Biographical and Statistical Data [Revised May 31, 1978], report prepared by the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, July 1978, pp. 6-7; idem, Astronautical and Aeronautical Events of 1962, report prepared by the NASA Historical Staff, June 12, 1963, p Astronautical and Aeronautical Events of 1962, pp. 146, Slayton interview, Oct. 17, Ibid.; MSC, "Flight Crew Training Report No. 1," Oct. 20, MSC, "Flight Crew Training Reports," nos. 1-16, Oct. 15, 1962, to Feb. 9, 1963; no. 16 includes a summary of topics covered in the basic science course. 22. MSC, "Apollo Spacecraft Project Status Report No. 1 for Period Ending September 31, 1962," p NASA, Astronautics and Aeronautics, Chronology on Science, Technology, and Policy, 1963, NASA SP- 4004, (Washington, 1964) p MSC Release , June 18, 1963; Slayton interview, Oct. 17, 1967; Astronauts and Cosmonauts,

95 25. House Subcommittee on Manned Space Flight of the Committee on Science and Astronautics, 1964 NASA Authorization, hearings on H.R. 5466, 88/1, pt. 2(a), p. 235, Mar. 7, Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1963, pp. 322, Astronauts and Cosmonauts, p Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1963, p Hacker and Grimwood, On the Shoulders of Titans, p MSC, Flight Crew Training Reports nos , Feb. 3-June 1, Elbert A. King, Jr., interview by Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., May 27, 1971, tape in JSC History Office files. 32. Ibid.; interviews, Alan L. Bean, Apr. 10, 1984, and Eugene A. Cernan, Apr. 6, 1984; Michael Collins, Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journeys (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1974), pp Hacker and Grimwood, On the Shoulders of Titans, pp Ibid., Ibid., ; Donald K. Slayton, Warren J. North, and C. H. Woodling, "Flight Crew Procedures and Training," in Gemini Midprogram Conference Including Experimental Results, NASA SP-121 (Washington, 1966), pp Hacker and Grimwood, On the Shoulders of Titans, pp Ibid., All the astronauts this author has interviewed have stated that they never understood exactly what determined their first assignment to a crew; see author's interviews with Alan L. Bean, Harrison H. Schmitt, Eugene A. Cernan, and Joseph P. Kerwin, Jr., transcripts in JSC History Office files; with Paul J. Weitz, transcript in Skylab files, Fondren Library, Rice Univ.; also Collins, Carrying the Fire, p. 141, and Slayton interview, Oct. 15, A special scientific committee convened at OSSA's request by Rice University to recommend ways to provide more opportunities for scientific training of astronauts noted that criteria for crew selection were a mystery to the astronauts; see n. 61, below. 39. See W. David Compton and Charles D. Benson, Living and Working in Space: A History of Skylab, NASA SP-4208 (Washington, 1983) pp , 19-20; also House, Subcommittee on Manned Space Flight of the Committee on Science and Astronautics, 1965 NASA Authorization, hearings on H.R. 9641, 88/2, pt. 2, pp , , and Arnold S. Levine, Managing NASA in the Apollo Era, NASA SP-4102 (Washington, 1982), pp

96 40. Homer E. Newell to W. N. Hess, Apr. 16, "NASA to Select Scientist-Astronauts for Future Missions," NASA Release , Oct. 19, Homer E. Newell, Beyond the Atmosphere: Early Years of Space Science, NASA SP-4211 (Washington, 1980), p Slayton interview, Oct. 15, Eugene M. Shoemaker interview, Mar. 17, According to Jack Schmitt, who worked with Shoemaker before and after he was selected as an astronaut, the committee set the standards too high. He recalled telling Shoemaker that they should have picked more scientists, "because we need[ed] more visibility down here." Shoemaker argued that the Academy did not want to risk choosing people who would not work out as astronauts, so the committee applied very strict standards. H. H. Schmitt interview, July 6, MSC News Release 65-63, June 29, "NASA Picks 6 Scientist-Astronauts To Make Field Trips to the Moon," Washington Post, June 27, Associated Press, "Dr. Graveline Quits Project as Astronaut," Chicago Tribune, Aug. 19, Graveline's wife sued him for divorce shortly after he was selected. While no documentation has been found to confirm it, the general impression among the astronauts was that divorce was considered incompatible with the established image of the astronaut, apart from the fact that involvement in a divorce case might create psychological problems that would impair the trainee's (or pilot's) efficiency. 48. Compton and Benson, Living and Working in Space, pp , George E. Mueller to Robert R. Gilruth, Jan. 25, "NASA To Select Additional Pilot-Astronauts," NASA Release , Sept. 10, 1965; "U.S. Seeking Astronauts for Apollo," Baltimore Sun, Sept. 11, "Nineteen Pilots Join United States Astronaut Team," NASA Release 66-77, Apr. 4, 1985; "19 Chosen as Spacemen, Some for Moon Missions," Washington Post, Apr. 5, "Scientists Invited to Become Astronauts, Do Research in Space," NASA Release , Sept. 26, Russell L. Schweickart, interview with Peter Vorzimmer, May 1, 1967, transcript in JSC History Office files

97 54. NASA 1965 Summer Conference on Lunar Exploration and Science, NASA SP-88 (Washington, 1965), pp Alan B. Shepard, Jr., to multiple addressees, "Astronaut Technical Assignments," Jan. 6, Harrison H. Schmitt interview, May 30, Slayton interview, Oct. 15, Ibid.; Bean interview. 59. Joseph P. Kerwin, Jr., interview, Mar. 29, Bean interview; Cernan interview. 61. "Space Science Training for Astronauts Involved in NASA Manned Space Flight Missions," report under contract NSR , Nov. 1965, p Ibid., pp Cernan interview. 64. Gilruth to Dr. A. J. Dessler, Dec. 22, Slayton interview, Oct. 15, When the debate over sending a scientist to the moon intensified in 1969, several wire-service stories quoted Slayton to this effect; see Paul Recer (Associated Press), "They Feud Over Moon Flights," Miami Herald, Oct. 12, Gilruth's position was expressed in a letter to George Mueller, Sept. 2, 1969, responding to Mueller's concern that the science community was growing restive because no scientist-astronauts were assigned to Apollo missions

98 6 MISSION SCIENCE AND PLANNING Introduction Apollo's scientific objectives were always acknowledged, but scientists as well as engineers understood that the primary goal was, in John Kennedy's words, "landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth." As long as that remained to be done, what the man (or men) would do on the lunar surface was of secondary importance. The choice of a landing site, the time allowed for the astronauts to explore the landing area, the instruments to be taken to the moon, and the amount of lunar material to be brought back to earth, all were governed by operational factors: what the engineers considered prudent in light of the overriding necessity to return the lunar explorers safely to earth. Some scientists might object to the goal itself, but no one disputed the need to achieve it safely. So while the engineers worked out their operations plans, scientists concentrated on what they wanted done on the missions, on the understanding that their plans would have to yield to operational constraints until NASA had accumulated some flight experience. By the time flight planners felt able to relax some of those constraints, scientists would have prepared a long shopping list of landing sites and scientific activities to answer some of their questions. Input from the scientists in the early days was minimal. In 1961 Harold Urey, responding to a request from Homer Newell, listed the general areas he would like to see explored on the moon: high latitudes, where low temperatures might allow water to exist; inside a large crater; in two maria of different types; near one of the great wrinkles in the maria; and in a mountainous region. 1 Probably many lunar

99 scientists would have agreed with Urey's choices; but as Eugene Shoemaker recognized in a paper not long afterward, operational necessities would certainly militate against many of those choices, especially for the early missions. 2 Operational Constraints on Landing Sites Picking a spot where a lunar module could land was a complex exercise requiring trade-offs among dozens of factors. Predominant among these were the topography and texture of the lunar surface and the requirements of the lunar module's guidance and navigation system. Other restrictions included the elevation of the sun at the landing site; the temperature of the lunar surface; the radiation environment in space and on the moon; and the earth lighting conditions desired for launch and recovery. 3 The most restrictive mission rule, so far as landing sites for the earliest lunar landing missions were concerned, was the requirement to place the spacecraft on a "free-return" trajectory - a flight path that allowed for failure of the service module's main engine. If the service module engine should fail to put the spacecraft into lunar orbit, the joined CSM and LM would loop around the moon under the influence of lunar gravity alone and head back to earth. This free-return trajectory required the spacecraft to leave earth orbit on a path that would bring it to the moon within five degrees of latitude of the lunar equator. As early as mid-1963 MSC's Space Environment Division selected four sites from a list compiled by various lunar scientists, balancing scientific interest against this mission rule. A few months later five more sites were picked for preliminary trajectory studies. 4 The choice of lunar longitude for a landing site depended mainly on two considerations. To land at a predetermined site it was essential to determine the position and the flight path of the lunar landing craft as accurately as possible before beginning the final descent to the surface. Navigational sightings taken from the spacecraft on stars or on lunar surface landmarks provided the data from which groundbased computers determined the spacecraft's orbit and calculated the necessary course corrections. Accurate calculation of the orbit required the astronauts to take sightings on five prominent lunar landmarks some distance east of the landing site, and since the spacecraft went behind the moon on the west and was out of radio and radar contact with earth until it emerged around the eastern edge, those sightings could only be taken after earth contact was reestablished. The position of the navigational landmarks had to be known with an error of no more than 1,500 feet (450 meters). In mid-1963 this was not possible; at the eastern and western edges of the visible face, surface features might actually be as much as 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) from where the best lunar maps showed them. In light of these navigation requirements, early planning assumed that a landing could be plotted no farther east than 40 degrees east longitude. The "Apollo landing zone" thus defined extended to 40 degrees west longitude; other operational considerations made a more westerly landing undesirable. 5 The second limitation on the longitude of the landing site was the elevation of the sun at the time of landing, which was the major factor considered in choosing the time of launch. To the pilot looking for a safe spot to land within the time the lunar module could hover, it was vital that the sun be high enough in the lunar sky to highlight the surface topography without casting long, confusing shadows, but not so high that all surface detail was washed out. After landing, the lunar explorers would also be hindered by a low or high sun. The moon has no atmosphere to scatter light and therefore shadows are completely black; at either low or high sun angles, visual observations can be difficult. Furthermore, solar heating of the lunar surface varies with sun angle, complicating the problem of protecting the astronauts and the spacecraft against extreme temperatures. Conditions would be best when the sun was

100 to 45 degrees above the horizon. Mission planners could choose a launch time so that the lunar module would land at a time when solar illumination was near optimum. Launch time was subject to the further constraint, however, that lunar missions had to leave the launch pad well before last light in case an aborted launch required emergency recovery operations. 6 Two potential hazards to the lunar mission were more difficult to take into account: meteoroids and radiation. In 1963 no one knew how dangerous meteoroids were. It seemed prudent to avoid the predictable (and dense) swarms that recur annually, but the earth-moon system constantly encounters a smaller number of randomly distributed meteoroids. The last three test flights of the Saturn I launch vehicle carried meteoroid-detecting satellites into earth orbit to determine how serious this hazard might be. Radiation (subatomic particles, x-rays, and gamma rays) was more worrisome. Of special concern were the high-energy protons shot out from the sun during major solar flares, which could subject astronauts on the lunar surface to lethal doses of radiation. 7 Solar flares were more troublesome because they are completely unpredictable. Protection was extremely difficult and warning all but impossible: by the time a flare could be detected on earth and its magnitude assessed, the most energetic (and dangerous) particles would already have reached the moon. Within the zone defined by all these constraints - roughly 185 miles (300 kilometers) wide, stretching l,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) along the moon's equator - geologic factors would determine the choice of a landing site. Surface topography could not be known in any detail until Ranger and Surveyor provided information; but from lunar maps available in 1963, several landing areas* about 400 square miles (900 square kilometers) in size could be picked out where slopes apparently were not too great and craters not too numerous. Balancing the need to pick landing areas near the center of the moon (where lunar maps were most accurate) against the requirement to spread the areas as far as possible along the equator (which allowed maximum flexibility in launch dates), MSC's Space Environment Division found 10 landing areas that seemed promising enough to warrant reconnoitering by unmanned spacecraft and close scrutiny by mission planners. The areas were spotted in a zone extending from the southeastern edge of Mare Tranquillitatis (not far from where Apollo 11 would eventually land) to a point northeast of Flamsteed crater in Oceanus Procellarum (some 375 miles [600 kilometers] west of Apollo 12's touchdown point). Even among these, however, none was completely satisfactory with respect to all the known constraints. 8 The effect of all these restrictions on the landing site was to reduce drastically the number of consecutive days per month on which a lunar mission could be launched. Considering only the two most important factors - sun angle and surface temperature - a given site could be reached only if the spacecraft were launched during a 2.3-day period each month. Experience to 1963 indicated that launch operations stood a good chance of being interrupted and launches postponed because of systems problems, and no one was willing to count on launching an Apollo mission within 2.3 days. But if flight planners could be prepared to land at more than one site for each launch - changing to a more westerly target if launch delays prevented reaching the first site - the number of consecutive days on which a launch was possible could be substantially increased. A Bellcomm study in early 1964 pointed out that * A landing area was a fairly large segment of the lunar surface which appeared sufficiently level and smooth to permit landing; a landing site was an ellipse a few hundred meters in size within which the lunar module would actually touch down. A site would be picked for exact targeting after the hazards of the landing area had been assessed

101 choosing multiple sites for each launch would make the program considerably more flexible, though it would require certifying more sites through the Surveyor and Lunar Orbiter programs. That, however, might cost no more than postponing a few launches by a month each. 9 The greatest uncertainty in the program at that time, pointed up by all these early studies, was the physical nature of the moon's surface. Astronomers held widely different views of what a lunar module would encounter when it touched down. Gerald Kuiper of the University of Arizona, one of the principal investigators in the Ranger project, was convinced that the surface was firm, though it might be unconsolidated and might be covered by a thin layer of dust. Cornell University astronomer Thomas Gold asserted, however, that the apparently smooth areas on the moon were likely to be covered with a layer of fine dust several meters thick, raising the prospect that the lunar module might sink out of sight with only a short-lived dust cloud to mark its disappearance. 10 There was the further possibility that the surface might be so cluttered with boulders and pitted with small craters that the lander would find no level spot large enough to land - or if it tried to land, would turn over or come to rest tilted at an angle that made return to orbit difficult. NASA had been hoping that Ranger's television photographs would shed light on these questions, but by the end of 1963 Ranger had experienced its fifth failure in as many attempts and was undergoing a critical reappraisal. [see Chapter 2] 11 Spacecraft engineers at Houston's Manned Spacecraft Center, meanwhile, in spite of their real need for this information in designing the lunar landing module, had to go ahead without it. 12 Lunar Orbiter, still in the early stages, would have to provide the information that mission planners needed for site selection. The spacecraft builders could only hope that data from Surveyor, when they got it, would not force them to revise their design too drastically. Scientific Input to Site Selection Early consideration of lunar exploration missions by the scientific community focused more sharply on what should be done on the moon than on where it would be done. The 1962 Iowa summer study paid particular attention to the scientific qualifications and training of the astronauts; the 1965 Woods Hole study formulated a list of 15 important scientific questions to be addressed by lunar exploration, which would define the experiments to be conducted. [see Chapter 3] [see Appendix 3] Neither conference expressed any preference for landing sites, although both pointed out the need to study highlands as well as maria. The Woods Hole study report concluded that really effective geophysical and geochemical studies would require investigations at several locations up to 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) apart. 13 NASA had apparently made it quite clear to its outside scientific advisors that science would have to take its results from wherever it could get them - at least on the first few missions. The point was implicitly acknowledged at the Falmouth conference on lunar exploration immediately following the 1965 Woods Hole study. All of the earth-science study groups at Falmouth stressed the need to supplement manned exploration with detailed study by unmanned lunar-orbiting satellites to secure comprehensive scientific coverage of the lunar surface. 14 To a considerable degree this emphasis on unmanned studies was simply a recognition of the relative cost-effectiveness of the two modes of exploration, but it was also a recognition of the operational limitations of Apollo and the resultant restrictions on landing sites. Even looking ahead to longer stays on the moon, the groups urged development of surface vehicles and flying vehicles to increase the effective range of exploration but did not mention any need to extend the limited Apollo landing zone. It was assumed that operations could eventually be extended

102 to higher latitudes and more difficult sites, such as highlands and craters - possibilities included in NASA's plans for extending Apollo, 15 which the Falmouth participants used as the basis for their recommendations. The fact was that in mid-1965 it was simply too early for scientific priorities to be included in the selection of Apollo landing sites. Better information on the lunar surface was needed, and better understanding of the operational constraints on landing sites, before the scientific merit of any particular site could have any effect on the choice. Site Selection: Early Returns from Unmanned Programs Throughout 1965, site selection was one of Apollo's biggest concerns. Early in the year the ill-starred Ranger project flew its second consecutive successful mission (in seven tries). Its photographs had enabled the Manned Spacecraft Center to draw some generally encouraging conclusions about lunar topography, but MSC's Space Environment Division concluded that Ranger photographs would never enable them to certify lunar landing sites. They would, perhaps, allow Apollo planners to rule out unsuitable areas, but picking a suitable landing site by eliminating the unsuitable ones could take years. 16 Besides, Ranger provided no information about the physical characteristics of the surface, which designers of the lunar landing craft needed. 17 Surveyor was expected to soft-land on the moon within a few months, and MSC was offering advice to Surveyor mission planners at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as to where the missions should land to be of maximum use to Apollo. The Houston center was also working closely with Langley's Lunar Orbiter program office in planning for optimum use of its high-resolution cameras to locate sites for the lunar landing mission. In efforts to satisfy the sometimes conflicting aims of lunar science and Apollo, the Ranger project had been subjected to a great deal of pulling and hauling. [see Chapter 2] The result was that neither side was completely satisfied, and the lunar scientists were particularly upset when Apollo preempted their experiments. Intending to forestall similar problems with Surveyor and Lunar Orbiter, Homer Newell established an ad hoc Surveyor/Orbiter Utilization Committee in the spring of 1965, after the last Ranger mission (Ranger 9) successfully concluded that project. Newel! appointed his deputy, Edgar M. Cortright, chairman of the committee, whose other members were chosen from Headquarters and center project Offices.* 18 Mueller, meanwhile, had discovered that no single organization was responsible for coordinating lunar data and evaluating candidate landing sites. Shortly after Newell created the Surveyor/Orbiter Utilization Committee, Mueller established an Apollo Site Selection Board in the Office of Manned Space Flight. Its primary responsibility was to select and recommend candidate sites after considering all data required to ensure the success of the lunar landing. If the board could not unanimously agree on a site, majority rule did not apply; Mueller wanted all dissenting opinions recorded, and as he had done when he created the Manned Space Flight Experiments Board, [see Chapter 2] he reserved for himself the * Other members were: Everett E. Christensen, mission operations dir., OMSF; Victor C. Clarke, Surveyor project office, JPL; Willis B. Foster, dir., Manned Space Science Div., OSSA; William A. Lee, asst. mgr., Apollo spacecraft program office, MSC; Urner Liddell, chmn., Planetology Subcommittee of the Space Sciences Steering Committee, OSSA; Benjamin Milwitzky, Surveyor project dir., OSSA; Oran W. Nicks, lunar and planetary programs dir., OSSA; Samuel C. Phillips, Apollo program dir., OMSF; Lee R. Scherer, Lunar Orbiter project dir., OSSA; and William E. Stoney, Space Environment Div., MSC; and Israel Taback, Lunar Orbiter project office, Langley Research Center,

103 authority to make the final choice. Chaired by OMSF's Apollo program director, Air Force Major General Samuel C. Phillips, the board included members from the Office of Space Science and Applications and the three manned space flight field centers. ** 19 The overlapping membership of these two boards was yet another way of making sure that all interested parties were sufficiently involved in decisions when scientific concerns and manned space flight objectives converged (and sometimes conflicted) in a single program - which, some felt, had not been the case during Ranger. MSC Director Bob Gilruth expressed satisfaction with this arrangement and selected two of his engineers to serve on both boards. 20 Since Surveyor and Lunar Orbiter were expected to fly their first missions within a year, the Surveyor/ Orbiter Utilization Committee began work early. From late August 1965 until the first launches in mid the committee met as frequently as necessary to evaluate sites and set priorities. Lunar Orbiter project officials initially outlined four types of missions, from a general survey of the moon to photography of specific sites within the Apollo zone. Surveyor representatives presented 40 possible landing sites for their first spacecraft, chosen on the basis of independent evaluations by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Geological Survey based on the best available geologic maps and telescopic observations. With little discussion the committee recommended that Lunar Orbiter's first mission give priority to Apollo site photographs. Surveyor, like Lunar Orbiter, had objectives independent of its usefulness to Apollo, but its project managers seemed less willing to allow their science goals to be subordinated to those of the lunar landing program. After some discussion, the committee agreed on a set of ground rules for selecting Surveyor landing sites. It was more important to have well-lit photographs of some part of the lunar surface as soon as possible than to have photographs within the Apollo zone; however, if a daylight landing was possible within that zone as well as outside it, the committee gave priority to an Apollo site. If the first Surveyor could not land in sunlight at all, it should be put down within the Apollo zone. The committee approved 14 of the 40 sites proposed for the first Surveyor mission, then sent its recommendations to the project offices, which would plan specific missions in more detail for review by the committee and by OSSA's Space Sciences Steering Committee. 21 Lunar Orbiter project officials set about making detailed plans for the first mission that would satisfy Apollo's requirements. Surveyor managers, however, were reluctant to comply with the committee's recommendations. They pointed out that the ground rules required landing at a less-suitable site even though a better one was available - a significant threat to mission success, JPL believed. They would target the first Surveyor in compliance with the committee's ground rules, but if the spacecraft had any trouble at an inferior site, JPL intended to recommend strongly that the next mission be sent to a better one. 22 America's first unmanned lunar explorer,*** Surveyor I, launched on May 30, 1966, landed 63 hours later approximately 90 kilometers north of the crater Flamsteed in Oceanus Procellarum, at the extreme ** Other members were: Cortright, Lee, Stoney, and Christensen, all members of the Surveyor/Orbiter Utilization Committee; Ernst Stuhlinger, Research Projects Office dir., MSFC; and John P. Claybourne, Future Studies Office, Design Engineering Branch, KSC. *** But not the world's first; on Feb. 3, 1966, the Soviet Union, apparently intent on establishing space "firsts," had logged another by landing Luna IX on the moon several hundred kilometers northwest of Surveyor I's landing site. Similarly the Russian Luna X became the first moon-orbiting satellite on Apt. 3, 1966, four months before the U.5.'s Lunar Orbiter I. Luna X did not relay photographs to earth, however

104 western fringe of the Apollo landing zone.23 Its first television pictures were encouraging to Apollo engineers: the surface was firm enough to support a lunar landing module and the surrounding area was reasonably level. But beyond the immediate landing area the TV images showed more than a few large boulders and craters. The pictures served to demolish some hypotheses about the lunar surface, notably Gold's idea that the maria were covered with deep layers of dust. The surface was composed of fine particles, firmly packed and cohesive. 24 Less than three months later, on August 10, Lunar Orbiter I roared off the pad at Cape Canaveral; four days later the spacecraft was in orbit around the moon, and by the end of the month it had photographed all nine of its assigned sites in the Apollo landing zone. After completing its photography, Orbiter remained in orbit, transmitting electronic data on gravity, meteoroids, and radiation around the moon - another aspect of its service to Apollo and to lunar science. 25 Malfunctions of the spacecraft and photographic system resulted in fewer good photographs than project officials would have liked; but preliminary photographic analysis began in late August and produced recommendations for the second Surveyor and Lunar Orbiter missions by the end of September. On the basis of crater density and regional slopes, 10 of 23 areas selected for detailed study seemed satisfactory; 8 potential sites were recommended for detailed analysis. 26 On September 29 the Surveyor/Orbiter Utilization Committee reviewed these results and outlined the requirements for the second Orbiter mission.**** Again Apollo sites were stressed, particularly those types of terrain shown by to be the most promising - landing areas smooth enough to land on, having little enough slope in the approach path to avoid confusing the lunar module's landing radar system. Lighting conditions for photography would be chosen so that slopes of 7 degrees, and surface protuberances 6 feet (2 meters) in diameter and 1.5 feet (0.5 meter) high, could be detected in an area 20 feet (7 meters) square. 27 Lunar Orbiter II, modified to correct the problems encountered by its predecessor, was launched November 6, 1966, and its results far surpassed those of the first mission. All of the 30 preplanned sites were photographed at medium and high resolution, giving geologists and cartographers excellent material with which to work.# 28 The mapmakers believed that with more stereo photographs of the quality returned by Lunar Orbiter II they could produce terrain-maps with two- to three- meter contours. MSC's Apollo project office representatives were pleased with the second mission's results and believed that one more flight would satisfy their requirements for the first one or two lunar landings. Apart from some additional site photography, Apollo wanted one or more Orbiter spacecraft to stay in lunar orbit long enough to allow precision tracking by earth-based radar. All navigational calculations for the lunar module were to be made by ground-based computers using data from the Manned Space Flight Network, Apollo's communication and tracking system, and early certification of this system was essential. 29 **** A small thruster failed on Surveyor II (launched on Sept. 20, 1966) after its midcourse correction maneuver, causing the spacecraft to spin at one revolution per second. All attempts to correct the malfunction failed and the lander crashed km southeast of crater Copernicus. # A famous by-product of the Lunar Orbiter II mission resulted from the need to advance film periodically even if no picture was taken. To avoid wasting that film, mission controllers were given a limited choice of targets for these exposures. One was used to take an oblique picture of crater Copernicus under almost ideal lighting conditions, showing hitherto invisible surface details. News media called this "one of the greatest pictures of the century."

105 In mid-december 1966 the Apollo Site Selection Board met to review the status of site selection. In general the process was going well. Geologic interpretation of the Orbiter photographs had already yielded some general conclusions about the nature of the lunar surface and where the best landing sites were likely to be found. Cartographers could not accurately determine slopes in the landing area without stereoscopic photography, but MSC gave higher priority to finding a landing site with a minimum of rocks and craters; the slope of the terrain leading to a suitable site could be evaluated some other way. No serious problems in site selection were apparent, and the board could only await the results of Lunar Orbiter III and more detailed analysis of the available data. 30 As 1967 began Apollo planners did not want much more from the unmanned lunar investigation projects. They would use whatever additional data became available, but priorities were changing. Three more Lunar Orbiters and four Surveyors would be sent to the moon during the next 13 months, but after the third orbiter they would do more for lunar science generally than for Apollo specifically. 31 Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Technicians prepare a test version of the Apollo command and service module in the space environment simulation chamber at MSC. The lights, mounted at left, simulate solar irradiation. The chamber walls can be cooled by liquid nitrogen to -193 degrees C, simulating the radiation-absorbing void of space. After the huge door is closed, the entire chamber, 55 feet in diameter and 90 feet high, can be pumped down to less than one ten-millionth of atmospheric pressure

106 MSC's original specifications for the lunar landing module included a generalized "scientific instrumentation system" to provide for selenological research. Specific experiments could not be listed in 1962, but investigations of the lunar atmosphere, surface, and interior were contemplated. The contractor would include weight, volume, and power allowances for the instruments in the module design; specific instruments would be defined later. 32 After the lunar module contractor, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, was selected in later 1962, MSC forged ahead with spacecraft design. Definition of the lunar surface experiments, which was the responsibility of the Office of Space Sciences and Applications, proceeded at a much more deliberate pace, however. [see Chapter 3] In early 1963 Houston expected that the first experiments would be selected by the end of the year; 33 but months went by with little progress. By September, spacecraft engineers urgently needed data on the experiments - weight, volume, and power requirements - to feed into lunar module design, but since nothing was available, MSC awarded a 10-month study contract to Texas Instruments to investigate instrumentation requirements for manned lunar exploration. 34 Headquarters was somewhat unhappy with this unilateral action, but lunar module designers had to have the information and the scientific community seemed to be in no hurry to supply it. 35 The study provided an indication of the type of instrumentation likely to be useful, and in the next few months the spacecraft office worked out preliminary weight and volume allotments for the experiments: 250 pounds (113 kilograms) and 15 cubic feet (0.42 cubic meters) in the descent stage, which would be left on the moon; 80 pounds (36 kilograms) and 3 cubic feet (0.085 cubic meters) in the ascent stage and in the command module for a sample-return container and film. Requirements for electrical power and a source to supply it were yet to be determined. 36 Throughout 1964 and the early part of 1965, Headquarters was busy studying the requirements for lunar surface instruments and experiments, working with outside scientific planning groups and with MSC. [see Chapter 3] By May 1965 a tentative list of experiments had been devised and MSC had prepared a procurement plan for a "Lunar Surface Experiments Package" (LSEP). On George Mueller's instructions MSC divided the procurement into two phases, a program definition phase to be conducted by several contractors and an implementation phase in which one of the contractors would build the experiments. 37 The request for proposals was sent out in June and three contractors for Phase I were picked in August. 38 As defined in Houston's request for proposals, the LSEP would be a self-powered scientific station capable of collecting data for a year, returning information to earth by telemetry. It comprised a passive seismometer to record natural seismic events ("moonquakes"); an active seismic experiment, which would record the effects of small explosive charges detonated on the lunar surface; a lunar gravimeter, which was expected to show tidal effects useful in deducing the internal structure of the moon; an instrument to measure heat flow from the moon's interior; radiation and meteoroid detectors; and a lunar atmospheric analyzer. A 70-watt power module converted heat from a radioisotope fuel capsule into electricity by means of thermocouples. The instruments, their power supply, and their data-trans- * Passive lunar seismic experiment, Dr. Frank Press (MIT) and Dr. George Sutton (Lamont Geological Observatory); lunar triaxis magnetometer, Dr. C. P. Sonett (NASA Ames Research Center) and Jerry Modisette (MSC); medium energy solar wind experiment, Dr. C. W. Snyder and Dr. M. N. Neugebauer (JPL); suprathermal ion detector, Dr. J. W. Freeman, Jr, (Rice Univ.) and Dr. F. Curtis Michel (MSC scientist-astronaut); lunar heat flow measurements, Dr. Marcus G. Langseth (Lamont Observatory) and Dr. Sydney Clark (Yale); low-energy solar wind, Dr. Brian J. O'Brien (Rice); and active lunar seismic experiment, Dr. Robert L. Kovach (Stanford Univ.) and Dr. Joel S. Watkins (USGS)

107 mitting equipment were limited to 150 pounds (68 kilograms) and 12 cubic feet (0.34 cubic meters) and were to be housed in the lunar module's descent stage. The specifications called for three units which could function on the moon at the same time without interfering with each other. 39 The program directive assigning management responsibility to MSC specified three packages, one to be flown on each of the first three lunar landing missions, plus a flight-qualified spare. The first was to be delivered by July 1, Newell's office, meanwhile, had been evaluating proposals for the lunar surface experiments, and on October 1 transmitted authority to Houston to begin negotiations with principal investigators for the lunar gravimeter and the active seismic experiment. 41 A third experiment, investigation of the lunar magnetic field, was tentatively approved on December The science complement for the first few missions was completed early in 1966 with the public announcement of seven instruments and investigator teams.* Newell noted that the experiments fulfilled the basic recommendations made the previous summer by the science teams at the Falmouth conference and had been approved for flight by the Space Sciences Steering Committee. Since the design of the instruments was not yet fixed it was not certain what combination would be flown on each mission, but modular design would allow each package to carry a group of instruments tailored to the constraints of its mission. The instrument collection was christened "Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package," or "ALSEP." 43 In authorizing MSC to develop the lunar surface science package, Newell assigned specific experiment combinations to each of the first four lunar landing missions and classified each as primary or backup. The first two lunar landers would carry the magnetometer, the passive seismic experiment, the suprathermal ion detector, the medium-energy solar wind experiment, and the heat flow instrument. Subsequent missions might carry different combinations, subject to Newell's approval of any changes. MSC was authorized to spend $5.1 million to develop flight-qualified prototype instruments and provide for operational and support software and data analysis. 44 All that remained to get instrument development under way was to select a contractor. This was accomplished a month later when Headquarters picked the Bendix Systems Division of Bendix Corporation, Ann Arbor, Michigan, for negotiation of a contract to build four ALSEP packages. Under a cost-plusincentive-fee contract NASA anticipated a total cost of about $17 million. 45 Bendix was not inexperienced in lunar surface exploration, having worked with JPL from 1963 to 1965, and had made a major corporate commitment to that phase of the space program. 46 Bendix's activity was actually twofold: it would build the "central station" that transmitted data to earth, and integrate the entire experiment package. Some of the instruments were to be built by Bendix's subcontractors to principal investigators' specifications; other principal investigators chose to build their own. MSC Develops a Science Organization Mercury project engineers at MSC had reluctantly allowed a few scientific exercises to ride their spacecraft, but this patched-on effort was of small importance. To pave the way for worthwhile experiments in manned space flight, Homer Newell persisted in urging scientists to devise experiments that would take advantage of man's presence. By the time Gemini was fully operational in early 1965 a fair number of scientific exercises had been proposed and accepted for flight. 47 After Mercury, the Manned

108 Spacecraft Center established an Experiments Coordinating Office to ensure that science plans were compatible with the spacecraft and the operational constraints of the mission. 48 Within the Gemini Program Office a Gemini Experiments Office supervised the science exercises undertaken in Gemini. As the Apollo science program evolved in , the horizon of manned space science expanded to include lunar surface experiments as well as in-flight (earth-and lunar-orbital) science. In view of its new responsibility to oversee the development and integration of the Apollo experiments as well as integrating the Gemini science, the Houston center decided to centralize the management of all manned space flight experiments in a single office. In June 1965 MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth appointed Robert O. Piland to head a new Experiments Program Office within the Engineering and Development Directorate. 49 Piland, formerly a research scientist at Langley, had served briefly on the staff of James R. Killian, President Eisenhower's science advisor, before joining the Manned Spacecraft Center in After contributing to the early planning and study efforts that led to the Apollo spacecraft program, he was appointed deputy manager of MSC's Apollo Spacecraft Program Office in His new office absorbed the staff and functions of both the Gemini Experiments Office and the Experiments Coordination Office and immediately took over work on the ALSEP contracts. Piland's job was to keep track of the complex requirements of the Apollo spacecraft and mission plans and see that the experimenters understood those requirements and adhered to them. His responsibilities extended from the conception of the experiment to the management and distribution of data. The Experiments Program Office worked with spacecraft engineers, flight planners, scientific investigators, and contractors in developing, testing, and integrating the experiments into the missions. 50 The in-flight experiments were an important part of Apollo lunar science, but MSC's involvement with science was growing in other phases of the program as well. During 1965 the Houston center was developing the concept of the lunar receiving laboratory, which went into NASA's budget proposal for fiscal [see Chapter 4] When Apollo began to return samples of lunar material to the earth, MSC's relations with the outside scientific community would expand considerably. Those samples were of incalculable scientific value, and scientists would assuredly demand a say in how they were handled from the time they were collected on the moon to the time they were parceled out to investigators. Apollo was about to create a relationship between MSC and the scientific world that was new to both groups and would require careful handling. There is not much room for doubt that MSC considered itself perfectly competent to manage the lunar samples with minimal help from the outside; the science community could simply lay out its requirements and MSC, if it concurred, would do the rest. Scientists, however, would never agree to stand in line at MSC's dispensing window to receive their designated allotments of lunar material. The deliberations of the various advisory groups and ad hoc committees convened to define the lunar receiving laboratory make it plain that scientists saw the proper staffing of the LRL as one of the most important questions of the entire project. At the very least they would insist that a scientist of considerable repute be appointed to head the laboratory and take charge of the sample analysis program, with the advice and consent of the scientific community. Besides the anticipated lunar science program, MSC had to recognize George Mueller's increasing interest in a science-oriented post-apollo program. Having established an Apollo Applications Program (AAP) office in August 1965, Mueller went to Congress the following spring to seek funding for

109 it. 51 If he should get what he was asking for, AAP would bring science to the forefront of manned space flight; although MSC lacked the staff to support it (concurrently with its Gemini and Apollo commitments) at the time, science clearly had to have a place in Houston - otherwise MSC might find itself playing a support role to some other center. At the end of March Faget announced the establishment of a Space Science Office within his Engineering and Development Directorate, described as an "interim arrangement pending development of a permanent scientific organization." For this purpose MSC regrouped a number of scattered center activities around Piland's Experiments Program Office and under his direction. While most of those activities were conducted in support of manned space flight operations and lunar exploration, the Space Science Office was also charged with developing, monitoring, and coordinating experiments for all manned space missions involving science. 52 The following week Gilruth sent MSC's plan for a more extensive reorganization to George Mueller. A new Space Medicine Directorate would consolidate all center medical activities in a single organization. For science, a new Space Science Division was to be established - not a science directorate on the same level as Space Medicine or Engineering and Development, but an upgraded version of the Space Science Office just established, still under Faget's jurisdiction. The proposal more specifically included management of the lunar receiving laboratory, providing MSC's point of contact with the external scientific community, and giving MSC scientists the opportunity to generate their own experiments. Some 76 people from other offices would comprise the new division, and a scientist would be recruited to head it as soon as possible. Agreeing with Newell's view that the division should concentrate primarily on one scientific field, Gilruth suggested that lunar and earth sciences would be its most appropriate disciplines. 53 For the next several months Headquarters and MSC discussed the proposed reorganization and the question of a director for science at MSC. 54 While those discussions were going on, Headquarters was working to clarify agency-wide management responsibilities for future manned flight activities. Apollo Applications, emerging as the most likely successor to Apollo, embraced a much greater variety of scientific projects than Apollo and appeared to require more interlocking of effort among the field centers (chiefly MSC and Marshall Space Flight Center) as well as Headquarters program offices. Accordingly, on July 26 Deputy Administrator Robert C. Seamans divided responsibility for prospective programs among the various entities - in effect ratifying the arrangement Homer Newell and George Mueller had been working under since [see Chapter 3] Mueller's Office of Manned Space Flight was to be responsible for the conduct of Apollo and AAP missions, developing and funding the experiments that were selected by Newell's Office of Space Science and Applications. Seamans went one step further, assigning to each center primary responsibility for specific areas: Marshall to develop the Apollo telescope mount (a major component of Apollo Applications), Goddard to handle atmospheric science, meteorology, and astronomical experiments, and MSC to manage the Apollo lunar surface experiments package, lunar science, earth resources, and life-support systems. Future assignments would depend on center capabilities and NASA's long-range plans. 55 In November, "in response to the growing significance and responsibilities of the Center in the area of science and applications," Houston informed Headquarters that it proposed to create a Science and Applications Directorate, on the same organizational level as those for Engineering and Development and Medical Research and Operations. (At long last Homer Newell's view of the importance of science at MSC prevailed.) It would subsume the functions of Space Science Division and would collect all space- and lunar-science-related functions of the center, along with the many people scattered through

110 out the center who were then engaged in scientific work in support of Apollo. The directorate would be responsible for planning and conducting all MSC programs in space science and applications and would be the center's point of contact with the scientific world outside. Pending appointment of a permanent director, Bob Piland, named as deputy director, would run the operation. 56 Administrator James Webb approved the new MSC organization on December 23, After several months of searching, Gilruth announced on February 17, 1967, selection of a director of science and applications: Wilmot N. Hess, chief of the Laboratory for Theoretical Studies at Goddard Space Flight Center. Hess was a nationally recognized scientist whose major scientific interest was high-energy nuclear physics and space radiation studies. 58 A space physicist seemed a curious choice in view of the scientific responsibilities foreseen for the center, but Hess was considered to be a competent administrator, and he had the scientific stature to give credibility to Houston's scientific efforts. Apollo at the End of 1966 By the time 1966 drew to a close the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn launch vehicle projects had been through some rough times. The lunar landing craft, under contract to Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company of Bethpage, New York, was slow to reach design maturity and Grumman had considerable difficulty with the main propulsion engines, landing gear, and radar systems. Across the country in southern California, North American Aviation's Space & Information Division had its own set of problems with the command and service module. 59 North American had other problems as well, notably with the S-II second stage of the mammoth Saturn V launch vehicle. The S-II was similar to Saturn V's third stage (the S-IVB) in that it used cryogenic propellants (liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen at extremely low temperatures), but it was much larger and presented more difficult manufacturing problems. 60 Besides, North American lacked the experience that the S-IVB stage contractor, Douglas Aircraft Company, could draw on from its prior development of the smaller S-IV stage of Saturn I. In 1965 North American's troubles in managing its two programs - especially the S-II - were the most serious obstacle to achieving the end-of-the-decade goal for Apollo. During 1965 the company's handling of its Apollo and Saturn contracts drew extraordinary attention from Headquarters and from Marshall Space Flight Center, culminating in a top-to-bottom evaluation of NAA's program by teams of NASA experts. In December Maj. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips, Apollo program manager at Headquarters, sent a devastating critique of NAA's program management to his bosses and to the company's executives. 61 The overall picture for manned space flight was not bleak, however. During the Gemini program had built a solid foundation for operations, sending missions into earth orbit at an average of one every two months. Important questions about the human ability to function in zero gravity were settled. Rendezvous was demonstrated in so many ways it seemed strange that anyone had ever doubted it was feasible. Saturn and Apollo enjoyed some successes as well. Marshall Space Flight Center proved out the Saturn I and IB launch vehicles - important junior partners to Saturn V - and put up earth-orbiting satellites to dispel worries about the hazard from micrometeoroids in space. By the end of 1965 all three stages of the Saturn V had been successfully (but separately) test-fired, and the Manned Spacecraft Center had proved that the Apollo launch escape system worked, easing some concerns about aborts on the launch pad

111 Since the status of science in the Apollo program had been nebulous in 1963, the next three years saw substantial progress. Widespread debate over the goals of manned space flight and the validity of the Apollo commitment during the summer of 1963 had given the Office of Manned Space Flight the incentive to accommodate science to some degree in its programs. The Office of Space Science and Applications took the lead in creating an office to coordinate the efforts of the two program offices. The major decisions concerning mission mode and spacecraft had been made when OMSF's new director, George Mueller, took over in late 1963; he could therefore direct a good deal of his attention to other matters. Mueller, unlike his predecessor, was not perceived as hostile to scientific investigations in manned space flight, although it took some time for the scientists to decide that he was basically supportive of their efforts. 63 Advice from the scientific community was brought to a clearer focus between 1962, when the Iowa summer study said little about manned lunar exploration, and 1965, when the Woods Hole and Falmouth conferences defined the objectives of lunar science in more specific terms. After the Woods Hole study posed 15 scientific questions about the moon that bounded Apollo science, study teams defined the essential experimental measurements and the instruments with which they would be made. Additional refinements to these preliminary definitions led to specific studies for the lunar surface experiments package, which was put under contract in Houston's Manned Spacecraft Center was finally brought around to at least an acceptance of science by the end of In the Gemini program it demonstrated a willingness to incorporate scientific exercises into its operational missions and worked out a system for assessing the compatibility of experiments with manned programs. Whether or not these exercises were scientifically important, they brought the scientists and the flight planners together so that they might better understand each other's problems. On its own initiative the Houston center proposed and undertook to develop a laboratory in which to receive, catalog, and conduct preliminary scientific examination of the returned lunar samples. After getting its two spacecraft projects more or less in hand, MSC assumed the responsibility for directing development of the lunar surface experiments and then created a directorate in which (it might be hoped) the center could ultimately develop its own science program. And finally it yielded to the clamor of the scientific community in picking its first class of astronauts from the ranks of promising young scientists. By the end of 1966, in fact, MSC was preparing to select a second group. On another front, MSC was cooperating with Headquarters in selecting the sites where the lunar missions would land. MSC worked with the Apollo Site Selection Board and Langley's Lunar Orbiter project, supplying its criteria for landing sites and evaluating the information gleaned from Surveyor and Lunar Orbiter. As 1966 ended, the list of candidate sites for the last Lunar Orbiter missions had been considerably narrowed. At the beginning of 1967 those who wanted to see science become an integral part of manned space flight could feel that some progress had been made in three years. Spacecraft engineers and mission planners could feel that many of their big problems were behind them. In spite of many problems with the command module, the first manned earth-orbital mission was only weeks away from launch. On August 26, 1966, spacecraft 012 arrived at Kennedy Space Center to begin a first-article checkout that would last through the end of the year

112 Notes 1. Harold C. Urey to Homer E. Newell, June 19, Eugene M. Shoemaker, "Exploration of the Moon's Surface," American Scientist 50 (1962): MSC, "Environmental Factors Involved in the Choice of Lunar Operational Dates and the Choice of Lunar Landing Sites," NASA Project Apollo Working Paper (AWP) No. 1100, Nov. 22, In 1972 an entire number of The Bell System Technical Journal (vol. 51, no. 5, pp ) was devoted to a single article, "Where on the Moon? An Apollo Systems Engineering Problem," J. O. Cappellari, Jr., ed. This is a narrative description of the many factors that entered into the choice of an Apollo landing site, how the factors were weighted, and how the interaction of those factors changed as experience with Apollo systems accumulated. It is not so technical as to be incomprehensible to most readers. Not surprisingly, it lays considerable emphasis on the role of Bellcomm, Inc., in the site selection process. 4. AWP 1100, p Ibid., p Ibid., pp Ibid., pp Ibid., p W. E. Thompson (Bellcomm, Inc.), "Lunar Landing Site Constraints: The Arguments for and Against One Preselected Site Versus Several Sites," Jan. 31, Benjamine J. Garland, memo for Apollo proj. off., "Characteristics of the Lunar Surface," Aug. 14, 1961; Thomas Gold, "Structure of the Moon's Surface," in J. W. Salisbury and P. E. Glaser, eds., The Lunar Surface Layer (London: Academic Press, 1964), pp Gold interpreted radar, optical, and thermal properties of the lunar surface as indicating a layer of fine particles up to several meters thick whose mechanical properties would be difficult to predict. He suggested that at the very least a lunar landing would be compromised by blinding clouds of dust raised by the exhaust from the descent engine. In the popular press, Gold's hypothesis was taken to mean that a lunar module could sink out of sight. The pictures returned by Ranger 7 (July 1964) gave Gold no reason to change his thinking; see R. Cargill Hall, Lunar Impact: A History of Project Ranger, NASA SP-4210 (Washington, 1977), p.285; also Gold, "Ranger Moon Pictures; Implications," Science 145 (1964): Most Ranger scientists agreed that the TV pictures from Ranger 7 gave no basis for drawing conclusions about the loadbearing characteristics of the surface. They did give some useful information about the distribution and size of craters and the slopes of lunar terrain on a smaller scale than had been possible. Gold remarked after the conclusion of Ranger that its pictures were like mirrors: "everyone sees his own theories reflected in them." Hall, Lunar Impact, p For a bibliography of studies on the lunar surface up to the first successful Ranger mission, see J. W. Salisbury, ed., Bibliography of Lunar and Planetary

113 Research , AFCRL-66-52, U.S. Air Force Office of Aerospace Research, Cambridge Research Laboratories, Jan Hall, Lunar Impact, pp Courtney G. Brooks, James M. Grimwood, and Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., Chariots for Apollo: A History of Manned Lunar Spacecraft, NASA SP-4205 (Washington, 1979), pp National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, A Review of Space Research, report of the summer study conducted under the auspices of the Space Science Board at the State University of Iowa, June 17-Aug. 10, 1962, NAS-NRC Publication 1079 (Washington, 1962); idem, Space Research: Directions for the Future, report of a study by the Space Science Board, Woods Hole, Mass., 1965, NAS-NRC Publication 1402 (Washington, 1966). 14. NASA 1965 Summer Conference on Lunar Exploration and Science, Falmouth, Massachusetts, July 19-31, 1965, NASA SP-88 (Washington, 1965), passim. 15. House, Subcommittee on Manned Space Flight of the Committee on Science and Astronautics, 1966 NASA Authorization, hearings on H.R. 3730, 89/1, pt. 2, pp John M. Eggleston to Dr. W. A. Lee, "Target Selection for Future Ranger Flights," Feb. 4, C. J. Byrne, "Ranger VII Photo Analysis - Preliminary Measurements of Apollo Landing Hazards," Bellcomm, Inc., Tech. Memo. TM , Mar. 17, Newel] to multiple addressees, "Establishment of Ad Hoc Surveyor/Orbiter Utilization Committee," June 22, George E. Mueller to multiple addressees, "Establishment of Apollo Site Selection Board," Management Instruction (NMI) , Aug. 6, John P. Mayer to Chief, Mission Planning and Analysis Div., MSC, "Lunar landing site selection," Oct. 6, 1964; Robert R. Gilruth to Mueller, "Establishment of Apollo Site Selection Board," July 29, 1965; Gilruth to Newell, "Members of Ad Hoc Surveyor/Orbiter Utilization Committee," July 29, OSSA, "Ad Hoc Surveyor/Orbiter Utilization Committee, Minutes First Meeting, Washington, D.C., August 20, 1965," Sept. 16, 1965; I. M. Ross (Bellcomm, Inc.) to Maj. Gen. S. C. Phillips, "MSF Position for Surveyor/Orbiter Utilization Committee Meeting August 20, 1965," Aug. 20, For a more detailed description of Lunar Orbiter mission planning, especially in support of Apollo, see Bruce K. Byers, Destination Moon: A History of the Lunar Orbiter Program, NASA TM X-3487 (Washington, 1977), pp , , 261; Orbiter's contributions to Apollo site selection are summarized on pp No useful single source for Surveyor mission planning and its relation to Apollo is available; the project's results (almost entirely scientific) are summarized in Surveyor Program Results, NASA SP-184 (Washington, 1969)

114 22. Willis E. Foster, "Draft Minutes of Second Meeting of Ad Hoc Surveyor/Orbiter Utilization Committee," Oct. 1, 1965, with encl., ltr., R. J. Parks to Benjamin Milwitzky, subj.: Surveyor Mission A Landing Site Selection, Sept. 28, Albert Sehlstedt, Jr., "Surveyor Makes Soft Landing On Moon," Baltimore Sun, June 2, William Hines, "Man Could Explore the Moon on Foot," Washington Evening Star, June 17, 1966; Evert Clark, "Surveyor Found 'Gritty' Moon That Can Support a Spacecraft," New York Times, June 17, Byers, Destination Moon, pp Lunar Orbiter Photo Data Screening Group, "Preliminary Terrain Evaluation and Apollo Landing Site Analysis Based on Lunar Orbiter I Photography," Langley Working Paper LWP-323, Nov Foster, "Minutes of the Surveyor/Orbiter Utilization Committee, Washington, D.C., September 29, 1966"; Byers, Destination Moon, p Byers, Destination Moon, p See L. J. Kosofsky and Farouk El-Baz, The Moon as Viewed by Lunar Orbiter, NASA SP-200 (Washington, 1970), for an annotated collection of many of the best photographs from the Lunar Orbiter missions, along with brief descriptions of the spacecraft and its systems and a complete listing of the sites photographed on each of the five missions. The detail in these photographs, even in halftone reproduction, must be seen to be believed. Much of the geologic interpretation of the moon has been accomplished using Lunar Orbiter photographs and the information they contain is far from exhausted, according to Eugene Shoemaker (interview, Mar. 17, 1984). 29. Foster, "Minutes of the Surveyor/Orbiter Utilization Committee, Washington, D.C., January 5, 1967." 30. S. C. Phillips to multiple addressees, "Minutes of the Apollo Site Selection Board Meeting, December 15, 1966," Mar. 3, John M. Eggleston to Dir., MSC, "Utilization of Orbiter and Surveyor in Support of Apollo and Apollo Applications Program Objectives," Jan. 18, 1967; Byers, Destination Moon, pp , MSC, "Project Apollo Lunar Excursion Module Development Statement of Work," July 24, 1962, pp. 2, A MSC, "Project Apollo Quarterly Status Report No. 3 for Period Ending March 31, 1963," p MSC, "Project Apollo Quarterly Status Report No. 6 for Period Ending December 31, 1963," p. 34; contract NAS9-2115, "Survey of Lunar Surface Measurements, Experiments, and Geologic Studies," Sept. 30,

115 35. John M. Eggleston to Wayne Young (JSC), letter with comments on draft of Apollo explorations history, Sept. 12, MSC, "Project Apollo Quarterly Status Report No. 8 for Period Ending June 30, 1964," p Mueller to MSC, "Request for Approval of Procurement Plan for Lunar Surface Experiments Package," June 7, "Three Firms Selected to Design Apollo Lunar Surface Package," Hqs. Release , Aug. 4, MSC, "Lunar Surface Experiments Package Request for Proposal," May 27, 1965, pp. b-1 to b S. C. Phillips to multiple addressees, Apollo Program Directive No. 3, subj.: Management Assignment for the Lunar Surface Experiments Package (LSEP) Project, M-D , June 15, Newell to Dir., MSC, "Selection of Scientific Investigations for Early Apollo Lunar Landing Missions," Oct. 1, Newell to Dir., MSC, "Selection of Apollo Lunar Science Magnetic Field Investigations," Dec. 15, William J. O'Donnell to Ames Res. Ctr.; MSC, and JPL, TWX, "Moon Surface Experiments Chosen for Apollo," (NASA Hqs. Release 66-17), Jan. 27, Newell to Dir., MSC, "Authorization to Procure Space Science and Applications Investigations for Apollo Lunar Missions," Feb. 14, "Bendix Named to Manufacture Lunar Package," NASA Hqs. release 66-63, Mar. 17, A. P. Fontaine (Bendix Corp.) to Gilruth, Feb. 18, Barton C. Hacker and James M. Grimwood, On The Shoulders of Titans: A History of Project Gemini, NASA SP-4203 (Washington, 1977), pp ; see Gemini Midprogram Conference Including Experimental Results, NASA SP-121 (Washington, 1966), pp , and Gemini Summary Conference, NASA SP-138 (Washington, 1967), pp , for summaries of the Gemini experiments program and its results. 48. See W. David Compton and Charles D. Benson, Living and Working in Space: A History of Skylab, NASA SP-4208 (Washington, 1983), pp , for pre-apollo experience with scientific experiments. 49. MSC Announcement 65-81, "Designation of Manager, Experiments, in E&D, and Establishment of the Experiments Program Office," June 21, Ibid

116 51. Compton and Benson, Living and Working in Space, pp Maxime A. Faget to multiple addressees, "Establishment of a Space Science Office within E&D," Mar. 31, Gilruth to Mueller, "Change in the basic MSC organization," Apr. 4, D. M. Allison, "Summary Minutes: Planetology Subcommittee of the Space Science Steering Committee (Meeting No. 1-67), 26, 27, 28 July 1966," no date. 55. Robert C. Seamans to Hqs. Assoc. Administrators, "Management Responsibilities for Future Manned Flight Activities," July 26, 1966; see also Compton and Benson, Living and Working in Space, pp George M. Low to multiple addressees, "Pending MSC Organizational Change," Nov. 17, Mueller to Gilruth, Jan. 17, 1967, with encls., MSC Organization Chart approved by Webb and functional statement for MSC Director of Science and Applications. 58. MSC Announcement 67-27, "Director, Science and Applications Directorate," Feb. 17, Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp Roger E. Bilstein, Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo/Saturn Launch Vehicles, NASA SP-4206, (Washington, 1980), pp Ibid., pp ; Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp ; Maj. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips to J. Leland Atwood, NAA, Dec. 19, 1965, with encls. 62. Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp , Eugene M. Shoemaker interview, Mar. 17, Charles D. Benson and William Barnaby Faherty, Moonport: A History of Apollo Launch Facilities and Operations, NASA SP-4204 (Washington, 1978), pp

117 7 SETBACK AND RECOVERY: 1967 Introduction Early in 1967 Project Apollo suffered its worst setback when all three members of the first crew to fly in an Apollo spacecraft died in a fire. The tragedy forced a reexamination of the project, especially NASA's supervision of its prime contractors, and delayed the first lunar landing by some unknown length of time. The fire had no direct effect on the lunar science program other than to provide vitally needed time to catch up to the launch schedule. The experiments package, the selection of landing sites, and the lunarsurface geology program all put the time to good use. Death at the Cape On the afternoon of January 27, 1967, Virgil I. Grissom, Edward H. White II, and Roger B. Chaffee, prime crew of Apollo mission AS-204,* were reclining in spacecraft 012 atop their Saturn IB launch vehicle at Kennedy Space Center's launch complex 34. Flight and launch crews were conducting a "plugs-out" simulation to determine that the spacecraft would function properly on internal power. The test had been frequently delayed by problems with communications and the environmental- control system; these were exasperating but not abnormal and certainly not a portent of the day's climactic event. Just after 6:31 p.m. horrified ground crews heard a cry of alarm over the communications cir- * Unofficially called "Apollo 1," the flight was more commonly referred to as "AS-204" - the fourth flight of a Saturn IB vehicle (Saturn IB flights were numbered in the 200s, Saturn V missions in the 500s). When flights were resumed, mission numbers started with Apollo 4, for reasons that were never completely clear

118 cuits and saw a bright glow through the spacecraft window. Seconds later the command module ruptured, filling the "white room" at the end of the access arm on the service structure with thick clouds of smoke. Technicians worked frantically to pry open the hatch but were repeatedly driven back by the smoke and heat. By the time they got the hatch open Grissom, White, and Chaffee were dead. A few minutes later medical help arrived, only to find that nothing could be done.** Officials quickly secured the launch pad and began the grim task of removing the bodies. NASA Administrator James Webb immediately appointed Floyd L. Thompson, director of Langley Research Center, chairman of an investigating board*** to determine the cause of the tragedy. 1 Manned space flight unquestionably entailed hazards, and it can be argued that much of the public's fascination with the early manned space flight programs grew out of the perception that it was an exceptionally dangerous business. 2 This perception somewhat exaggerated the true situation. Space flight was dangerous, but NASA engineers at every level clearly realized the hazards and went to considerable lengths to minimize them. All the astronauts were aware of the risks and considered them acceptable. Not a man among them would have stayed in the program if he had believed his life was being wilfully risked for the sake of an ephemeral propaganda triumph. Emphasis on producing safe, reliable hardware permeated the program. The astronauts were active participants in design and development; frequent astronaut visits to contractor plants helped to ensure a workable design. Crewmen who had been assigned to flights followed their own spacecraft through assembly and testing. Not less important, the visits impressed on contractor employees the fact that the lives of real people - not anonymous consumers, but people they knew - depended on every component of the system. One result was that in 5 years 19 Americans had flown 16 earth-orbital missions without serious mishap. Although disaster had flirted with both Mercury and Gemini,**** flying in space seemed to be no more dangerous than piloting high-performance aircraft - perhaps less so, for the only astronauts to die before the fire were killed in airplane accidents. Not surprisingly, most attention had been focused on the dangers in space. Immediately after the fire, Administrator James Webb expressed a widely held view when he said, "Although everyone realized that some day space pilots would die, who would have thought the first tragedy would be on the ground [emphasis added]?" 3 Perhaps the AS-204 fire was more traumatic because it did occur on the ground. Whatever the reason, public reaction was vigorous. After a brief period of shock, the nation's press began to ask questions, not only about the cause of the fire but about the wisdom of the manned lunar ** Postmortem examination disclosed that the crew had died of asphyxiation by toxic fumes produced by incomplete combustion of the synthetic materials in the spacecraft. All had been burned, but not severely enough to cause death. *** Other members were astronaut Frank Borman, MSC; Maxime A. Faget, MSC; E. Barton Geer Langley; Col. Charles F. Strang, USAF; Robert W. Van Dolah, U.S. Bureau of Mines (replacing Franklin A. Long of Cornell University, who had represented the President's Science Advisory Committee); George C. White, Jr., NASA Headquarters; John J. Williams, Kennedy Space Center; and George T. Malley, Langley, counsel. George W. Jeffs of North American Aviation was asked to serve as a consultant. **** Grissom's Mercury capsule flooded and sank when its hatch accidentally blew off as he awaited recovery from the second suborbital Mercury flight. On Mercury's second earth-orbital mission Scott Carpenter overshot his landing area by nearly 300 kilometers, and for a while his fate was in question. Gemini had produced two incidents: Gemini VI's Titan vehicle shut down immediately after ignition, leading to a few anxious minutes, and a malfunctioning thruster set the Gemini VIII spacecraft spinning wildly, requiring premature termination of the mission

119 exploration program. 4 While Thompson's investigating board probed the charred spacecraft and traced its history from California to the Cape, NASA clamped a tight lid on speculation as to possible causes, issuing only brief interim reports. In spite of calls for an independent congressional investigation, both the Senate and House space committee chairmen agreed to defer public hearings until NASA could complete its own probe. 5 In early April the investigating board submitted its report concluding that the precise point of origin of the fire could not be positively identified. Investigators had found physical evidence of electric arcing from wires with damaged insulation. Sometime during manufacture or testing, apparently, an unnoticed incidental contact had scraped the insulation from a wire, thus providing the path for a sparkexactly where, the investigators could not say, but the evidence pointed to a spot near Grissom's couch where components of the environmental control system had repeatedly been removed and replaced during testing. 6 The arc had ignited flammable material and in the pure oxygen atmosphere# the resulting fire had spread with astonishing rapidity. Contributing to the disaster were an appalling number of factors that could only be called oversights, to put the best possible face on it. The simulation had not been considered hazardous because neither the launch vehicle nor the spacecraft contained any fuel, nor were the Saturn's pyrotechnics installed; consequently no emergency equipment or personnel were at the launch pad. Wiring carrying electrical power was not properly protected against accidental impact. Far too much flammable material - some 70 pounds (32 kilograms) of nylon netting, polyurethane foam, and Velcro fastening - had been haphazardly spread around the command module, creating unobstructed paths for flames. No provision had been made for the crew to get out of the spacecraft quickly in case of emergency. The hatch could not be opened in less than 90 seconds. Neither the board's report nor the congressional hearings that followed could explain why so many technical experts had failed to notice that spacecraft 012, as it sat on the launch pad on January 27, was simply a bomb that needed only a trigger to set it off. Confident in Apollo's design approach, which emphasized eliminating the possibility of ignition by electrical components, and unaware of the intensity and speed of fires fed by pure oxygen, both NASA and contractor engineers had grossly underestimated the consequences of a flaw in their hardware or procedures. Many other problems had demanded attention throughout the fabrication of this prototype command module, and - perhaps lulled by success in past programs - everyone had overlooked the hazards that were accumulating in the spacecraft. In the months following NASA's investigation, responsibility for these conditions was liberally distributed among contractors and NASA managers alike. Charges of sloppy workmanship and poor quality control by the spacecraft contractor - which NASA should have corrected - seemed justified. Critics asked again whether the "end-of-the-decade" goal was, for no good reason, pushing Apollo out of control and whether there really was a "space race" that justified such haste. James Webb and George Mueller, who took most of the heat of Congress's investigation, doggedly and successfully defended the program's objectives as well as its schedule, aided by generally sympathetic congressional committees. 7 # During the simulation, as it would be at launch on a real mission, the command module atmosphere was pure oxygen at 16.4 pounds per square inch (113 kilonewtons per square meter) pressure - 10 percent above normal atmospheric pressure

120 The Apollo project survived the fire shaken but undeterred. NASA continued to aim for a lunar landing before 1970, but management (especially contractor supervision) would be tightened, procedures (especially safety precautions) would be thoroughly investigated, combustible materials in the spacecraft would be rigorously controlled, and new and less flammable materials (particularly fabrics) would be sought. 8 Perhaps the greatest damage was to NASA's standing with Congress. The space agency no longer seemed larger than life, especially to members who had never been strongly committed to either side of the manned space flight debate. 9 Webb left an atypically bad impression in his appearances before the Congressional committees. He responded testily to suggestions that the Thompson board, made up of NASA's own people, was unlikely to get to the bottom of the accident, and was not cooperative when committee members asked for a report on the performance of the spacecraft contractor. 10 The Thompson board pointed out numerous deficiencies in the design of the spacecraft and recommended changes in management and quality control throughout the program. Even while the board was preparing its report NASA was hard at work evaluating changes. Obviously the command and service module needed the most attention, but the lunar module was equally rigorously scrutinized, and no aspect of the Apollo program was spared detailed examination for hazards. 11 How much the lunar landing would be set back no one knew.## Throughout 1966 the Office of Manned Space Flight had been working toward two unmanned test flights of the Saturn V starting in 1967, to be followed by three manned flights to check out the launch vehicle, both spacecraft, and the complex support system for the lunar landing. NASA's public position was that "lunar flights," orbital or landing, would begin before the end of Planning schedules showed several "simulated" lunar missions - which might orbit the moon but not land - the first of which might be flown as early as October 1967 on AS-503 or as late as August 1968 on AS-506. The initial landing might be assigned to AS- 506, but the earliest mission unambiguously categorized in OMSF's master schedules as a "lunar mission" and not a "simulation" was AS-507, scheduled for November The fire wrecked that timetable, and for four months afterward all monthly OMSF launch schedules were stamped "UNDER REVIEW." At the end of May 1967, a new master schedule showed only four Saturn V flights preceding the first lunar landing: two unmanned, to check out the launch vehicle; one earth-orbital flight to gain experience in simultaneous operation of the command and service module and the lunar module; and one lunar mission simulation. The Saturn V flights were interspersed among eight Saturn IB missions; as many of these would be flown as necessary to discover and correct flaws in the spacecraft and operations. The May schedule still showed the first landing in the last quarter of 1968, but no one was authorized to mention any date more specific than "before the end of 1968" in public. 13 ## Two years later Mueller told a congressional subcommittee that the fire had delayed the first manned flight by 18 months, but in the interim progress was made in areas other than the command and service module

121 The Fire and the Science Program In March 1966, when NASA contracted with the Bendix Corporation to build the Apollo lunar surface experiments package (ALSEP), delivery of the first flight-qualified set of instruments was scheduled for July 1967, seven months before AS-504, the first Saturn V mission to which an experiment package was assigned.14 It was an optimistic schedule, even though preliminary design work for several of the experiments had already been funded by NASA grants.15 By late fall the package was in schedule trouble. Two instruments were experiencing minor difficulties, the central data- collecting station was in a critical state, and the magnetometer was having serious development problems. 16 In late December 1966 Headquarters was considering shifting certain instruments from the second mission to the first on account of the lagging magnetometer. Scientists were particularly anxious about this, because the data from the magnetometer were essential to interpreting the results of two other experiments. Experimenters urged that a search be started for a simpler magnetometer in case Ames's sophisticated instrument could not be made ready in time. 17 Besides the experiments themselves, the radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) required work. The RTG consisted of a large "fuel cask," packed with plutonium-238, supplying heat to an array of thermocouples that produced electricity for the instruments. Project engineers were having difficulty assuring that the radioactive fuel would not be dispersed into the atmosphere in case of an abort during launch. 18 At the critical design review the astronauts discovered several hazards to the crew member who had to remove the hot (500 degrees C, 932 degrees F) fuel capsule from its storage space in the LM and insert it into the thermocouple assembly while setting up the instruments. Redesign of the package or revision of procedures was necessary. 19 As the status of Apollo cleared in the months following the fire, a degree of optimism returned to the experiments schedule. In July 1967 the first lunar mission was AS-506, set for late November 1968, and the experiments for the first four lunar missions were no longer lagging. 20 Even so, problems remained. In late June 1967 Leonard Reiffel of Apollo Program Director Sam Phillips's scientific staff wrote Phillips suggesting that "we do not schedule the ALSEP for the first lunar landing." Reiffel cited the problems of the magnetometer, the many unknowns that could affect the deployment and function of the experiments, and the weight problems that were hindering production of the lunar module. He offered his personal opinion that, except for the seismometer, the scientific experiments would not yield fundamental information about the moon that would be of immediate importance. All in all, Reiffel thought, the program might be better served in the long run by waiting until the second mission to fly the full complement of surface instruments: "An uncrowded time line on the lunar surface for the first mission would seem to me to be more contributory to the advance of science than trying to do so much on the first mission that we do nothing well [emphasis in the original]." 21 Reiffel's misgivings about the astronauts' work load and the time available for surface activities were not off target. Early in development, Jack Schmitt, one of the astronauts providing crew advice to the lunar surface experiments designers, discovered an undesirable legacy from earlier conceptual work on the instruments:... In the early days, the crews... were worried about having enough to do on the moon.... In the early design stages they [the ALSEP designers] took to heart the crew input to "give us something to do," and it was a monster.... The way they had that thing put together it was going to take forever to deploy

122 This design philosophy was intended to give substance to the argument that men were essential in lunar exploration, but to Schmitt it was the wrong approach. Precious time on the moon should not be wasted in the purely mechanical activity of deploying the instrument package. He and other astronauts worked hard to improve the design of the package so that deploying it did not take so much time, but it was slow going. 22 Even before Reiffel's pessimistic evaluation of the science prospects for early flight, Phillips had been worried about the progress of the first instrument package. In early June he appointed a review team to look into the development of the magnetometer and another to examine the safety problems with the RTG. 23 The magnetometer investigation team found that the technically sophisticated project had encountered severe schedule delays and cost overruns, but concluded that Ames and its contractor had arrested the project's negative trends. Still, the magnetometer clearly could not be ready for the first scheduled lunar landing. A simpler instrument proposed by investigators at Goddard Space Flight Center was briefly considered, but it could not meet the schedule either and was dropped. At the end of August 1967, Phillips recommended to Deputy Administrator Robert Seamans that the magnetometer be taken off the first ALSEP and replaced by a laser reflector, a completely passive experiment which was under development. The prospects seemed good that a complete ALSEP package as originally planned could be flown On the second lunar landing mission. 24 Ames's magnetometer remained in the schedule for the first landing throughout 1968, however. 25 Without doubt the delay in the first lunar landing caused by the Apollo fire relieved some of the pressure on the ALSEP experimenters and developers. For all its human and economic cost, the 204 accident forced a pause that was put to good use by those segments of the program (such as the science projects) that were less vitally affected by the fire than the spacecraft. The command module was suffering from many problems in early 1967, and it can be argued that sooner or later something as serious as the fire would have halted progress. The tragedy was that the price of straightening out the program was three lives. PSAC Examines Post-Apollo Science Plans During 1966, while the lunar landing program still seemed on track for successful completion within the decade, the question of a manned program to follow Apollo* took on considerable importance. Administrator James Webb was not inclined to propose another ambitious project, apparently preferring to build a strong, versatile organization and wait for the country to tell NASA what to do with it. George Mueller, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, could not wait. Whatever his office was going to do after the first few lunar missions had to be started very soon or the expensive infrastructure built for Apollo would begin to deteriorate. But Lyndon Johnson's administration had begun to feel the fiscal pinch of an expanding war in Southeast Asia, the president's Great Society programs, and congressional concern for the foreseeable budget deficits. As a result, Mueller's post-apollo plans were not approved by the White House in fiscal Though nothing better seemed in prospect and the president was reluctant to let manned space flight wither away, a decision on AAP was postponed. 26 * At the time no milestone clearly marking the end of Apollo had been defined. It could be argued that the first lunar landing would represent completion of Apollo and that subsequent missions would be part of Apollo Applications. Most officials seemed to think of Apollo as comprising the first two or three lunar landings and AAP as including all lunar exploration more extensive than those landings could accomplish

123 As part of the efforts to define suitable goals for the nation's space program after Apollo was accomplished, the President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC) undertook to evaluate NASA's post- Apollo plans. Its report, completed in 1966, concentrated on agency-wide plans and the decades following 1970; but it had some advice concerning later Apollo missions as well. About lunar exploration, PSAC warned that the repetition of Apollo flights for more than two or three missions will be unjustifiable in terms of anticipated scientific return without the modification of the system to provide for additional mobility on the Moon's surface and the capacity to remain on the surface for a longer period of time. After a few initial flights, NASA should adapt the remaining spacecraft and launch vehicles to those ends - for example, by converting the lunar module to an unmanned supply vehicle that could be stocked with expendables, scientific equipment, and mobility aids to support explorations of 7 to 14 days. Manned lunar missions following the first few should be conducted at the rate of not more than one or two per year, carefully coordinated with an expanded program of unmanned exploration to reduce the overall cost of lunar scientific exploration and to investigate areas that Apollo could not safely reach. 27 PSAC's report, published in February 1967, attracted little public notice in the aftermath of the fire. Its recommendations on Apollo exploration, though brief, were not overlooked by officials at the Manned Spacecraft Center, however. In spite of its preoccupation with the first lunar landing, MSC turned attention to the later lunar missions as soon as it could. 28 Shortly after taking over his duties as Director of Science and Applications at MSC, Wilmot Hess sought the help of lunar scientists in planning scientific exploration of the moon. Lunar Science and Exploration: Santa Cruz, 1967 Following the pattern set by OSSA and the Space Science Board, Hess organized a summer study in 1967 to discuss lunar exploration. On July 31 more than 150 scientists and NASA officials met on the campus of the University of California at Santa Cruz to provide the expert advice NASA would need to conduct an effective lunar exploration program. The stated objectives of the conference were to prepare detailed science plans, establish an order of priority for lunar investigations, and recommend major programs to develop instrumental and technological support for the advancement or lunar exploration. Eight disciplinary working groups* were organized, each focusing on a different field within the range of scientific interest in the moon. Unlike the Woods Hole and Falmouth conferences of 1965, which dealt with broader questions of lunar science, [see Chapter 3] the Santa Cruz conference concentrated on specifics. Hess tasked the working groups to prepare working papers on particular aspects of lunar exploration: the scientific requirements for lunar surface mobility and mission duration; the scientific use of lunar orbital flights; the scientific * The working groups and their chair persons were: Astronomy, L. W. Frederick, Univ. of Virginia; Bioscience, Melvin B. Calvin, Univ. of California, Berkeley; Geochemistry, Paul W. Gast, Columbia Univ.; Geodesy and Cartography, Charles Lundquist, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; Geology, Alfred H. Chidester, U.S. Geological Survey; Geophysics, Frank Press, Mass. Institute of Technology; Lunar Atmospheres, Francis Johnson, Southwest Center for Advanced Studies; Particles and Fields, D. J. Williams, Goddard Space Flight Center

124 utility of planned major hardware items; and mission profiles for trips to the craters Alphonsus, Aristarchus, and Copernicus. Working groups were to study both manned and automated systems and to combine both modes of exploration to optimize the scientific return. They were to consider how to use current spacecraft and systems with minimal modification, or major hardware items already under consideration, not devise new systems that would require substantial development. 29 Hess opened the conference by summarizing the results of the past two years' work. By way of assessing its own progress in attaining the goals laid out by the Falmouth conference, MSC had tabulated the recommendations made at Falmouth and the extent to which they had been implemented in a document called "Falmouth Plus Two Years, or How Much Nearer is the Whale to the Water?"** According to this tabulation, which Hess used in his summary, only 9 percent of the Falmouth recommendations for Apollo had been rejected (after consideration); 55 percent had been implemented and 8 percent tentatively accepted. Only 6 percent had not yet been acted on. The rest were in various stages of planning or implementation. For post-apollo recommendations, no action had been taken on 29 percent, 9 percent had been implemented, and 62 percent were in various stages of study. 30 After two weeks of discussion the working groups made individual reports and produced a consolidated set of recommendations. [see Appendix 3] On several points all the groups substantially agreed. For manned exploration the most immediate need was to extend the 500-meter (0.3-mile) range of an astronaut on foot to more than 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) by means of some kind of surface mobility aid. Some favored a wheeled vehicle; others preferred a one- or two-man rocket-propelled flying vehicle, which would enable the astronauts to take samples over a wider area and to explore peaks and valleys that a wheeled vehicle could not reach. All the working groups agreed on the need for long unmanned traverses on the lunar surface, for which a dual-mode "local scientific survey module" was necessary. Besides carrying the lunar explorers from place to place, this module would be capable of unmanned operation directed from earth, traveling across the surface from one Apollo landing site to another. Along the way it would deploy several small geophysical instruments and collect samples for return by the next manned mission. An unmanned vehicle somewhat like this was being considered, but the Santa Cruz conferees favored their own version, which was more sophisticated. 31 To support longer stays on the moon, the scientists recommended that NASA develop the capability to launch two Saturn Vs per mission: one to carry the crew, the other, unmanned, to transport a modified lunar module carrying additional expendable supplies and scientific instruments*** To supplement the more flexible manned missions they proposed, the working groups recommended that a network of geophysical stations be established on the moon using improved Surveyor spacecraft or similar instru- ** A footnote to the title identified the whale as "Neobalaena shoemakerensis." At Falmouth Eugene Shoemaker, impatient with the lack of progress toward defining Apollo's scientific goals, had compared efforts "to make something happen, like getting some science on Apollo," to trying to push a beached whale back into the ocean. "If you push very hard you make a dent in the whale, but as soon 'is you stop pushing, [the dent] comes right back out again," leaving the whale right where it was. E. M. Shoemaker interview, Mar. 17, When the laughter had died down, an unidentified Headquarters participant topped the joke with the comment, "Gene, you ought to try pushing that whale off the the beach from the inside." H. H. Schmitt interview, May 30, *** A logistic support system based on the Saturn V had been in NASA's plans ever since the lunar-orbit rendezvous decision in 1962, It was part of the price OMSF paid von Braun for his support of lunar-orbit rendezvous, and was to be designed and built by Marshall Space Flight Center, which had no major development responsibilities after Saturn V. See Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots for Apollo, p

125 mented modules. Other recommendations for improving Apollo's scientific return included increasing the quantity of lunar samples returned to 250 pounds (110 kilograms), modularizing the experiment package so that instruments could be more easily interchanged to meet the scientific requirements of each mission, and developing the capability to deploy instrumented satellites in close orbit around the moon. 32 In spite of MSC's efforts to be responsive to experimenters' needs, the scientists at Santa Cruz evidently felt that communication between investigators and engineers still left much to be desired. They recommended that a project scientist, preferably someone involved in the experiment, be assigned to each experiment to make sure that scientists and engineers understood each others' needs and limitations. 33 Turning to the question of astronaut participation in lunar exploration, the Santa Cruz conference conceded the primacy of piloting skills in the choice of Apollo crews, but strongly recommended that the second criterion for crew selection be ability in field geology. On the later, more complicated scientific missions, the conference considered that "the knowledge and experience of an astronaut who is also a professional field geologist is essential." As far as astronaut training was concerned, the conferees insisted that "in the interest of maintaining career proficiency, astronauts should be provided time to engage in some form of research activity within their professional fields [emphasis in the original in both cases]." 34 The latter point was particularly important. NASA was about to announce the names of a second group of scientist-astronauts and the conference was sending a message to MSC that this group should, from the start, be scientists first and pilots second. Rounding out the summary recommendations of the conference, the working groups outlined in some detail a sequence of missions to follow the first few Apollo landings: (1) manned orbital flights around the moon to obtain better photographs of proposed landing sites and study the surface with remote sensors, (2) single-launch manned missions, and (3) dual-launch manned missions. Three exploration missions were sketched out. One would send two men to the crater Copernicus for three days, exploring and sampling the crater floor and its central peaks with the lunar flying unit. The second, a six-day voyage to the Aristarchus region, required a dual Saturn V launch carrying an unmanned lunar-traversing vehicle. This mission would explore the "Cobra's Head," a curious crater lying at the head of the sinuous rille known as Schroeter's Valley. Finally, plans were outlined for a seven-day mission to crater Alphonsus employing most of the exploration aids recommended by the working groups. Scientific objectives were spelled out in some detail for each site, and the conference report recommended that all these mission proposals be given immediate detailed analysis to test their practicability. 35 As important as its scientific recommendations was the mechanism the conference set up for effecting them. Near the end of the second week Hess established a Group for Lunar Exploration Planning (GLEP)**** to work continuously with NASA mission planners to incorporate as many of the Santa **** Members were chairman Wilmot N. Hess, Maxime A. Faget, Harold Gartrell, Elbert A. King, Jr., Harrison H. Schmitt, and William T. Stoney, all of MSC; Richard J. Allenby, OSSA; James R. Arnold, Univ. of California, San Diego; Melvin B. Calvin, Univ. of California, Berkeley; Philip E. Culbertson, OMSF; Paul W. Gast, Columbia Univ.; Richard Jahns, Stanford Univ.; Francis Johnson, Southwest Center for Advanced Studies; Charles Lundquist, Smithsonian Geophysical Observatory; Frank Press, Mass. Institute of Technology; Nancy Roman, OSSA; Eugene M. Shoemaker, U.S. Geological Survey; and Donald J. Williams, Goddard Space Flight Center

126 Cruz recommendations as possible into the remaining Apollo and Apollo Applications missions. 36 For the next few years GLEP and MSC planners would meet periodically to examine and refine mission plans. Santa Cruz gave the Manned Spacecraft Center as much material for study as it could have wanted, and Houston's planning groups began studying its recommendations within weeks of its conclusion. Toward the end of September Elbert King summarized the Santa Cruz proceedings for MSC's lunar missions planning board. The board's reaction to the conference's primary recommendations was not especially sanguine. Neither the lunar flying unit - considered vital by the scientists - nor the local science survey module was much more than a concept at the time, and both would take considerable time to reach operational maturity. Max Faget, MSC's director of Engineering and Development, agreed that both vehicles were desirable but was not optimistic about either cost or schedule. Since the Santa Cruz conferees had suggested that lunar exploration be deferred until the flying unit was developed, the whole program could be held up if it ran into difficulty. In the discussion it was pointed out that Marshall Space Flight Center had studied similar mobility aids and was not convinced that a remotely controlled surface vehicle was feasible. Marshall was currently exploring a smaller lunar roving vehicle that could carry little more than the two astronauts and some scientific equipment. The lunar missions planning board did not settle the question of surface mobility at this meeting. Although it agreed on the necessity to extend the range of the astronauts' exploration, the board was not too keen on starting to work on either of the vehicles suggested at Santa Cruz. Faget guessed that the long-range vehicle could cost as much as $250 million to develop. 37 On November 16 and 17 OSSA's Lunar and Planetary Missions Board, which was responsible for advising NASA management on the overall balance between lunar and planetary programs, met at Houston to review lunar exploration plans. Hess presented the status of MSC's plan, the elements it should contain, and how it was to evolve. Board members were clearly uneasy, for they asked Hess to review the plan again before submitting it to Headquarters for approval. 38 Three days after the Houston meeting, on request of the Lunar and Planetary Missions Board, Associate Administrator# Homer Newell sent Robert Gilruth a motion passed by the board to guide MSC's discussions with the Group for Lunar Exploration Planning. While the board found most of the Santa Cruz report acceptable in principle, it requested that the Group for Lunar Exploration Planning review that report "in light of the severe fiscal constraints currently in effect." The board suggested that to reduce the cost of lunar exploration, some of the manned landings could be replaced by unmanned, automated, and mobile exploration systems launched by Saturn Vs, and asked GLEP to submit a few examples of programs at different budget levels. 39 The Purse Strings Draw Tighter The "severe fiscal constraints" cited by the Lunar and Planetary Missions Board had been building throughout 1967, and for the unmanned space programs, at least a year before that. NASA's appropriations peaked in fiscal 1965 at $5.25 billion and declined by $75 million and then $207 million in the following two fiscal years. In 1966 Lyndon Johnson had concentrated on establishing his Great Society programs; in 1967 the American military presence in southeast Asia grew substantially. Apollo suf- # In August Newell had been appointed Associate Administrator, NASA's third-ranking officer, succeeding Robert C. Seamans, Jr., who had moved up to the post of Deputy Administrator after the death of Hugh L. Dryden in December John E. Naugle succeeded Newell as Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications

127 fered little by comparison with some other programs, but post-apollo programs, including George Mueller's grandiose Apollo Applications Program, had been postponed. 40 In the spring of 1967 NASA submitted a request for fiscal 1968 of $5.1 billion, which Congress cut by $517 million. On signing the space agency's authorization bill in August, the President indicated that he would not oppose the reductions, noting that the federal deficit might run as high as $29 billion instead of the $8.1 billion forecast early in the year. The country faced hard choices, he said, and would have "to distinguish between the necessary and the desirable." 41 Three months later Administrator James Webb presented NASA's proposed operating plan for fiscal 1968 to the Senate space committee. His figures showed that Congress had cut only $50.5 million (2 percent) out of the $2,546.5 million request for Apollo. Apollo Applications had been slashed by 31 percent, and advanced mission studies had been completely eliminated. The Office of Space Science and Applications had been hit relatively much harder. Congress had cut $146.6 million (22 percent) out of its total request of $674.6 million for all space science programs. OSSA's lunar and planetary missions were reduced by 12 percent and Voyager, a major planetary program, was eliminated entirely. 42 Such were the "severe fiscal constraints" that motivated the Lunar and Planetary Missions Board to ask for reexamination of MSC's lunar exploration plans. The fiscal crunch of 1967 was the beginning of a long period of comparative austerity for the American space program. Domestic programs and the nation's growing participation in the Vietnam war created severe pressure on all government programs, and space was no exception. At first Apollo suffered less than other space projects, but eventually it too would shrink as a result of changing national priorities. Lunar Exploration Program Office Established As long as Apollo was a goal yet to be attained, the nation and the Congress seemed willing to support it at substantially the level NASA considered essential. Less exciting programs and less tangible space objectives fared less well when the federal deficit grew. This trend in congressional support of space programs from 1965 was not lost on NASA's managers, least of all on George Mueller. In 1963 he had begun looking for a viable post-apollo program; since 1965 he had worked for a specific (though illdefined, in the opinion of some) program to use the Apollo spacecraft and organization to produce useful results. His proposals, deferred in fiscal 1966 and again in fiscal 1967, only achieved concrete status as the Apollo Applications Program (AAP) in the fiscal 1968 budget - and then with pitifully small financial support. In early 1967, Apollo Applications still included (at least on paper) all manned programs after the first few lunar landings - specifically, extended lunar exploration using improved Apollo spacecraft. From mid-1966 onward, however, Mueller's concept of Apollo Applications seemed to be narrowing. Congressional committees had not warmed to his plans for a wide-ranging, multifunctional program whose major goal seemed to be to use up the hardware already developed and exercise the organization. Debate within his own manned space flight organization and discussions with aerospace executives led Mueller to the conclusion that AAP should serve more specifically as a bridge to the next major manned space program - whatever that might be

128 Thus as 1967 wore on and the consequences of the AS-204 fire were dealt with, Mueller saw merit in separating lunar exploration from unrelated activities in AAP. Lack of enthusiasm for AAP outside his own office - particularly at higher levels of NASA management - undoubtedly contributed to this changing view. In May, management discussions led to a number of decisions that subordinated AAP to the main objectives of Apollo: the lunar landing had priority over AAP; no hardware would be modified (a key feature of AAP) unless authorized by the deputy administrator; and all AAP launch schedules and hardware assignments would remain tentative until progress in Apollo could be assessed and AAP payloads could be better defined. 44 Under these conditions, continued exploration of the moon stood a better chance of support under the Apollo banner. Since planning for manned lunar exploration was more or less independent of which program office actually oversaw it, site selection, experiment development, and mission planning continued without regard to organizational lines. In December 1967 Mueller established an Apollo Lunar Exploration Office under the Apollo Program Office in Headquarters. As director of the new office he named Lee R. Scherer, a retired Navy captain who had directed the successful Lunar Orbiter program (completed four months previously). Scherer's office would assume responsibility at Headquarters for directing all activities connected with lunar exploration. Two divisions, Flight Systems Development and Lunar Science, would oversee spacecraft modifications and science plans, respectively. The Lunar Science Division would look to the Office of Space Science and Applications for all science planning. 45 The major functions of the old Manned Space Science Division were distributed between the Lunar Exploration Office and the Apollo Applications Program Office, and its director, Willis Foster, became assistant to the associate administrator of OSSA in charge of manned space flight experiments. Lunar Receiving Laboratory: At the end of 1966 construction of the Lunar Receiving Laboratory (LRL ) at MSC was well under way. On January 11, 1967, Gilruth advised Homer Newell that the laboratory's design was essentially fixed and that any new requirements arising out of proposals by scientific investigators could only be accommodated by design changes, which would cost money and time. 46 Construction proceeded without significant delay throughout the spring, and in mid-april program manager Joseph V. Piland reported to Gilruth that he expected to close down his office by June 30 and turn the laboratory over to its operating staff. 47 The principal unsettled question in early 1967 was that of a laboratory staff. For several months the LRL Working Group, appointed by the Planetology Subcommittee of OSSA's Space Sciences Steering Committee, had insisted that the laboratory must be a permanent scientific research organization headed by a nationally respected scientist who would report to the director of MSC. [see Chapter 4] MSC's announcement creating the new Science and Applications Directorate did not mention the Lunar Receiving Laboratory, confirming the "worst fears" (as the group's chairman, Clark Goodman, put it) of the working group, which was informed of the action only after the fact. Headquarters and MSC officials spent considerable time convincing Goodman that those fears were groundless: the laboratory would be a part of MSC's science directorate and MSC was working closely with OSSA in selecting an outstanding scientist to direct it; the director would be appointed only with the concurrence of the associate administrator for space science and applications; and he would be given a free hand in revising the organization of the laboratory and selecting its staff. 48 Three days after announcing the new science directorate, MSC issued an interim plan for the management and operation of the Lunar Re

129 ceiving Laboratory, placing it in the Lunar and Earth Sciences Division, whose head would report to the Director of Science and Applications. 49 In the weeks following the establishment of the science directorate at MSC, it seemed that every group having a claim on the functions of the receiving laboratory wanted immediate action on its primary problems. After the LRL Working Group it was the Planetary Biology Subcommittee of the Space Sciences Steering Committee, which met in Houston in mid-january to look after the life sciences' interests in lunar samples and the biological training of astronauts. Some investigators suspected that MSC intended to enlarge the receiving laboratory's activities to the point of usurping some of the responsibilities of outside scientists; but Houston's presentation to the subcommittee evidently laid that fear to rest. 50 The following week it was the Public Health Service, which was concerned with backcontamination and quarantine. MSC Deputy Director George Low and PHS officials met at Atlanta and agreed that the chief of the Biomedical Branch, one of five branches under the Lunar and Earth Sciences Division of the receiving laboratory, would oversee quarantine. When the lab was completed and a formal organization was in place, MSC would recommend appointment of Dr. G. Briggs Phillips, the PHS's liaison officer at MSC since mid-1965, to that post. 51 Scientific activity in the receiving laboratory came to the fore in the spring of 1967 when the scientists who would investigate the first material returned to earth from the moon were named. On March 16, Headquarters announced that 110 scientists, including 27 working in laboratories outside the United States, had been selected to receive lunar samples. 52 The Manned Spacecraft Center then faced the task of allocating the lunar material to these investigators, considering the type and quantity of sample each one wanted. Before the selection was announced, MSC had asked Headquarters for a list of each experimenter's special requirements. OSSA returned the question to Houston to be settled in face-toface discussions between MSC and the scientists. Newell suggested that the principal investigators be called together to consider these problems and that they themselves should take much of the responsibility for allocating samples. Headquarters would cooperate in every possible way, but basically it was leaving the management of the lunar investigations to MSC. 53 In September MSC convened a three-day meeting of the investigators to allow them to update their proposals, revise their budget estimates, and devise an equitable plan for sample allocation. Wilmot Hess and his staff briefed the scientists on the general guidelines expected to govern the distribution of samples and the publication of results, and reviewed the general requirements for managing contracts and grants. In revising their proposals and funding requests, the scientists were not allowed to make any major changes in experiment plans but were encouraged to make small ones if that would significantly improve their investigations. In November MSC forwarded to Headquarters its revised budget estimates for support of lunar investigations: $3.556 million for fiscal 1968, down from the previously estimated $4.135 million, and $3.759 million for fiscal 1969, reduced from $4.592 million. 54 From the scientists' point of view an equally important result of the September conference was the creation of two teams of scientists to participate in the early phases of sample examination. With the help of the investigators, Hess organized a lunar sample analysis planning team* to assist him in for- * Members initially appointed were Wilmot N. Hess, MSC, chairman; Elbert A. King, MSC, secretary; Edward Anders, Univ. of Chicago; James R. Arnold, Univ. of California, San Diego; P. R. Bell, LRL manager, MSC; Clifford Frondel, Harvard Univ.; Paul W. Gast, Lamont Geol. Observatory, Columbia Univ.; Harry H. Hess, Princeton Univ.; J. Hoover Mackin, Univ. of Texas; Eugene M. Shoemaker, U.S. Geological Survey; M. Gene Simmons, Mass. Inst. of Technology; Brian J. Skinner, Yale Univ.; Wolf Vishniac, Univ. of Rochester; and Gerald J. Wasserburg, Calif. Inst. of Technology

130 mulating detailed guidelines for the selection and allocation of samples and the necessary scientific functions in the receiving laboratory. A second group, the lunar sample preliminary examination team,** would participate in the initial examination of samples in the LRL. Besides investigators approved to perform experiments in the laboratory during quarantine, the latter group included a mineralogy-petrology team who would help obtain information that would be used in allocating samples to other investigators. These appointments did much to increase the confidence of the scientists in MSC's plans for management of the samples. 55 The last gap in LRL management was closed with the appointment of a director for the laboratory. On August 1, 1967, P. R. Bell, senior physicist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, assumed duties as Chief of MSC's Lunar and Earth Sciences Division and director of the LRL. Bell's career extended from pre-world War II work with the National Defense Research Committee at the University of Chicago through wartime research at MIT's Radiation Laboratory to postwar work at Oak Ridge. An expert in instrumentation, he had conceived the vacuum system that was being built by Union Carbide at Oak Ridge to be installed in the receiving laboratory. 56 Complexities of Quarantine Quarantine took up much of the time to the LRL during An Interagency Committee on Back Contamination (ICBC), established in 1966, [see Chapter 4] served as the policy-making board on questions of quarantine.* As the receiving lab moved toward operational readiness, some possible complexities of operations became apparent. Theoretically the approval of all the concerned regulatory agencies would have to be secured before the samples could be released to lunar scientists. In January 1967, Robert Gilruth sent his deputy, George Low, to Atlanta to discuss matters with ICBC chairman David Sencer. Low and Sencer readily agreed that a single official at MSC should be given the authority of the ICBC to approve the quarantine protocol and to release the lunar samples when the protocol had been satisfied. (NASA Headquarters had already indicated that NASA's authority to release the samples could be delegated to Gilruth.) The ICBC would develop quarantine procedures, its representative in Houston would certify to Gilruth that those procedures had been satisfied, and Gilruth would order quarantine terminated. 57 If a long chain of approvals - from each of the regulatory agencies through Headquarters to MSC - could be avoided, the academic investigators could have their lunar material much sooner. ** Members initially appointed were Wilmot N. Hess, MSC, chairman; Klaus Biemann, Mass. Inst. of Technology; Almo L. Burlingame, Univ. of California, Berkeley; Edward C. T. Chao, U.S. Geological Survey; Clifford Frondel, Harvard Univ.; Elbert A. King, MSC; J. Hoover Mackin, Univ. of Texas; G. Davis O'Kelley, Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Oliver A. Schaeffer, State Univ. of New York, Stony Brook; and M. Gene Simmons, Mass. Inst. of Technology. * Original members of the ICBC in 1966 were David J. Sencer, USPHS, chairman; John R. Bagby, Jr., USPHS; Charles A. Berry, MSC; Aleck C. Bond, MSC; John Buckley, Dept. of Interior; Harold P. Klein, Ames Research Center; G. Briggs Phillips, USPHS; John E. Pickering, OMSF; Leonard Reiffel, OMSF; Ernest Saulmon, Dept. of Agriculture; and Wolf Vishniac, Univ. of Rochester, National Academy of Sciences representative. In January 1967 Robert O. Piland of MSC replaced Bond; later in the year Wilmot N. Hess replaced Piland, James H. Turnock, Jr., OMSF, replaced Reiffel, George L. Mehren, Dept. of Agriculture, replaced Saulmon, and an OSSA member, Lawrence B. Hall, was added

131 Once in the lunar receiving laboratory, crews and lunar samples were safely sealed off from the earth, but between the command module floating on the Pacific Ocean and the crew quarters in Houston was a gap in the containment of extraterrestrial material. By late August 1966 it had been agreed that a "mobile quarantine facility" would be used to transport the lunar explorers from the recovery ship to the receiving lab. Essentially a travel trailer that could accommodate six people for four days, the isolation van would be modified to prevent the escape of infectious agents. It would be sealed aboard the recovery ship, carried from the splashdown point to Hawaii, flown in a C-141 cargo aircraft to Ellington Air Force Base near MSC, and hauled by truck to the LRL, where the astronauts would enter quarantine through a plastic tunnel extending from the van to the LRL door. 58 A similar method might be used aboard ship to transfer the astronauts from the spacecraft to the mobile quarantine facility. If the command module was assumed to be contaminated it should not be opened; hence the sealed spacecraft with its human contents should be hoisted onto the deck of the recovery ship, where the astronauts could pass through a plastic tunnel from spacecraft to isolation van. Landing operations managers were unwilling to risk this, however, because of the possibility of injuring the crewmen if the spacecraft were dropped. Yet there seemed no feasible way to open the command module while it floated on the ocean and still keep it isolated from the earth's biosphere. After examining the spacecraft's environmental control system, the ICBC was satisfied that it would effectively filter out airborne bacteria during the long return trip from the moon. 59 Thus only the astronauts - not the atmosphere of the command module - were likely to harbor biological contaminants, and some means had to be devised to keep them from infecting the world on their short trip from the spacecraft to the isolation van. The solution was to bag them in plastic: a "biological isolation garment," a zippered plastic coverall equipped with a respirator. The recovery crew would toss these into the spacecraft; the astronauts would don them before entering the recovery raft and remove them after they were sealed in their temporary quarters aboard ship. 60 Another key problem was the selection of biological tests - the "protocol" -that would give maximum assurance that the samples harbored no dangerous organisms while requiring minimum time and facilities in the receiving lab. Early in 1966 MSC had contracted with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston to develop the test protocol, which the ICBC reviewed at its December meeting. 61 The objective of the protocol was to permit a biomedical assessment of lunar material so that samples could be released within 30 days of their arrival at the LRL, unless some evidence of extraterrestrial organisms appeared. The samples would be examined microscopically for evidence of living organisms, and then a variety of plants and animals would be exposed to lunar material to determine whether they were affected by it. After some discussion at the meeting, committee members were asked to review the plan, considering the limitations of time, facilities, and laboratory personnel, and recommend a collection of tests that would provide the best statistical validity for the protocol. 62 After looking over the proposed quarantine protocol, Wolf Vishniac, biologist at the University of Rochester representing the National Academy of Sciences, raised a question that the committee would discuss for the rest of the year. Baylor's proposed battery of biological tests was quite comprehensive; as a result, Vishniac noted, it would require a very large sample. He then asked what would be done if, as "an extreme case,... no samples of lunar material [were] collected and brought back [other than] dust brought from the lunar surface into the space capsule and inhaled by the astronauts." Between this and the several kilograms of lunar soil that was the nominal sample lay a range of possibilities in which only grams or fractions of grams of material might be available. If the crew should have to leave the

132 moon with only a small sample, how could a satisfactory quarantine examination be carried out and still leave material for other scientists to work with? Vishniac took the position that if extraterrestrial organisms existed they were bound to be introduced into the earth's biosphere eventually, no matter how rigorous the precautions, if planetary exploration continued. Therefore the Apollo quarantine protocol should search not for living organisms in general but only for infectious organisms that constituted a clear danger to the earth. Thus the quarantine protocol could be considerably simplified. 63 Vishniac's suggestion was privately welcomed at MSC, where some project managers felt that quarantine procedures were on the verge of becoming unworkable. 64 Evidently other members of the committee were coming to a similar conclusion, because at the next ICBC meeting they agreed to keep the quarantine protocol under continuing review. They also agreed that samples would be tested on a few well understood living systems rather than a larger number of less common ones. Systems of greatest sensitivity would be selected so that results could be quickly assessed, minimizing the amount of sample required and the time needed to certify the lunar material as harmless. 65 At its June meeting the ICBC reviewed the revised quarantine protocol and considered a statistical approach to determining the size of sample required to give the desired reliability. It appeared that 1.2 kilograms (about 2.5 pounds) of material would be needed to conduct an acceptable quarantine protocol. If, as the Santa Cruz conference had recommended, no more than 5 percent of the total lunar material were used for quarantine testing, 24 kilograms (53 pounds) - roughly the nominal lunar sample - would be enough to provide a sample for quarantine testing. The committee would continue to work toward a minimum test protocol in case less than 24 kilograms were returned. 66 By the end of the summer the Interagency Committee had agreed on an outline of the procedures for releasing lunar material and astronauts from quarantine. If, as expected, the biological tests showed no exotic organisms and the astronauts developed no symptoms of infection within 21 days, the ICBC would review the data and certify that the crewmen could be released. Any change in the astronauts' general health would call for diagnosis. If the change was noninfectious or could be attributed to familiar terrestrial organisms, quarantine could be ended. But if no cause for the change was readily apparent, the question of release would be passed to a NASA medical team. A similar plan was prescribed for testing and releasing the lunar samples. If there were any doubt about living organisms being in the lunar material, release might be conditional, requiring sterilization or stipulation that the sample could be examined only behind a biological barrier. In all cases, doubtful results could lead to retention of the samples in the receiving laboratory until further testing satisfied all concerned agencies that no hazard existed. 67 While the ICBC worked toward a final quarantine protocol, others were looking ahead to premission testing of the receiving laboratory and its facilities. Early in the summer George Mueller sketched out for MSC Director Robert Gilruth a tentative timeline for LRL tests and simulations. According to Mueller's concept, laboratory personnel could be trained in the operation of the equipment and conduct of the quarantine tests before the laboratory was actually occupied. By the end of 1967 some partial simulations should be conducted to confirm the suitability of the lab's systems and the ability of the technical support team to handle the anticipated work load. In the following three months some actual sample-handling simulations should be conducted. By mid-1968, Mueller said, a full-scale dress rehearsal of a mission should be conducted, from splashdown through the end of quarantine. Samples

133 and test subjects would be treated exactly as they would be during an actual mission, with data being accumulated, handled, and reduced in "real time," to iron out any deficiencies remaining in procedures and equipment. 68 Houston estimated that preparation for an end-to-end simulation of a lunar mission would require 11 months : A Critical Year The six months after the Apollo fire were probably the busiest of the entire moon-landing program. At the Manned Spacecraft Center and its spacecraft contractor, North American Aviation, procedures were tightened up to give managers a better grip on details of the program. Both MSC and NAA brought in new managers for the spacecraft project. George Low, picked by James Webb to run Houston's spacecraft program, appointed a tough configuration control board at MSC which met every week to review proposed design changes. Every system and subsystem in the command module was examined for hazards. New materials and test procedures assured that the risk of fire was reduced to the absolute minimum. 70 The fire bought time for the Saturn project as well. While the first and third stages had few major problems, the second (S-II) stage - also a North American project - had been having serious problems since S-II was the largest rocket stage ever built to use liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, and its builders ran into unique technological problems and needed all the help they could get to meet launch schedules. At one point, in fact, S-II was the single most troublesome part of the Saturn program. 71 The toil, tears, and sweat expended by NASA and contractors during the post-fire months produced striking results before the year ended. On November 9, 1967, the first complete Saturn V to be flighttested, AS-501, lifted off from the brand new launch complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center, carrying a boilerplate command and service module and a mock-up of the lunar module into earth orbit. Apollo 4, as the flight was designated, was certainly the most complex mission launched up to that time. Its long list of "firsts" included checking out all systems of the Saturn V, including the first in-orbit restarting of the S-IVB third stage. As far as the spacecraft was concerned, Apollo 4 proved the soundness of the command module's heat shield and redesigned hatch during simulated reentry from a lunar mission. George Mueller's 1963 decision to test the Saturn V "all-up" was apparently vindicated when AS-501 was officially evaluated as a success in all respects. 72 With that success it was easy to feel that Apollo was "on its way to the moon," as Program Director Sam Phillips put it in a postlaunch press conference. Apollo 4 was the first of six steps that MSC mission planners had set down as essential precursors to the lunar landing. These flights, lettered "A" through "F," would progressively test the systems of the command and service module and the lunar module and verify flight operations procedures, first in earth orbit and then in deep space (lunar orbit), before mission "G" landed on the moon. Four Saturn Vs and two Saturn IBs (or three and three, depending on how the Saturn V and the spacecraft systems performed) would be used for the prelanding missions. This classification of missions, though unofficial, was the framework on which subsequent planning was built. 73 The year also saw a considerable evolution of scientific activity at the Manned Spacecraft Center. Much of the cause of scientists' complaints about the Houston center was removed by the creation of the Science and Applications Directorate and the appointment of a research scientist of recognized

134 stature as its head. When that directorate became operational, Headquarters's Office of Space Science and Applications delegated to MSC most of the responsibility for management of the lunar samples, including direct contacts with the participating scientists. The lunar receiving laboratory, although it was not accorded the bureaucratic stature at MSC that the lunar scientists had insisted on, was placed sufficiently high to assure adequate autonomy, and its first manager was a research scientist who had been a major contributor to the design of the LRL's sample-handling equipment. NASA Administrator James Webb spent considerable time in 1967 exploring a more prominent role in planetary science for the lunar receiving laboratory. In view of the historic significance of the lunar samples and the possibility that probes might eventually return samples from the planets, Webb wanted the LRL to become the world's premier site for scientific research on the moon and the planets. In discussions with the National Academy of Sciences during 1967, Webb worked for an arrangement to bring this prospective "Lunar Science Institute" under academic management, which would be essential if the institute was to achieve the stature Webb wanted for it. By the end of the year NASA and the Academy had defined the role of the institute and were working to form a consortium of universities to manage it, but ideas had not yet crystallized and quite a bit of negotiating was still to be done. 74 As 1968 began, Apollo program officials could look back on a year of accomplishment and ahead to more hard work. It would be a busy year at the Cape: the official manned space flight schedule projected six developmental missions for Three were Saturn IB missions, two of them unmanned tests of the lunar module, and the third a manned test of the much-reworked command and service module in earth orbit. Three Saturn V flights - two unmanned, verifying spacecraft development, and one manned - would precede five manned Saturn V missions in "The first lunar landing," the schedule stated for public consumption, "is possible in [the] last half of 1969." 75 Manned space flight operations were about to go into high gear. When mission G was ready to fly, lunar scientists could expect the facilities for handling its historymaking cargo to be ready. During 1967 the lunar receiving laboratory had been completed and much of its specialized equipment installed. Perhaps more important, MSC and the community of lunar investigators had set up the administrative mechanism by which the lunar material would be parceled out for scientific examination. Within the constraints of quarantine and of MSC's responsibility to safeguard and account for the samples, the scientists, through their chosen representatives, would allot the lunar rocks and soil to the approved investigators. As far as the official records reveal it, MSC and the academic science community were developing a cooperative relationship along lines that the scientists found acceptable, if not ideal

135 Notes 1. Courtney G. Brooks, James M. Grimwood, and Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., Chariots for Apollo: A History of Manned Lunar Spacecraft, NASA SP-4205 (Washington, 1979), pp ; Charles D. Benson and William Barnaby Faherty, Moonport: A History of Apollo Launch Facilities and Operations, NASA SP-4204 (Washington, 1978), pp One author has characterized the media coverage of the early period as based on the unspoken view (based on several widely publicized failures) that "our boys always botch it and our rockets always blow up," and suggests that journalists uncritically emphasized the risks of manned space flight. Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1979). Wolfe's conclusion - supported by the (admittedly subjective) recollections of the present author, who watched many of the launches, from Mercury through Apollo, on television - gains credibility after viewing a television documentary entitled "Spaceflight," broadcast on the Public Broadcasting System in May In an interview on that program Walter Cronkite, who was a principal figure in the Columbia Broadcasting System's coverage of manned space flight, recalled that the history of failure in rocket tests up to 1961 heightened his perception of the danger to the astronaut. The astronauts did not share this apprehension; their day-to-day participation in hardware development gave them an informed estimate of the danger they faced. 3. "Entire Crew of Mission Set for Feb. 21 Is Lost; Grissom, White, Chaffee," Washington Post, Jan. 18, "Is Moon Travel Worth the Cost?" Chicago Tribune, Jan.29, 1967; "The Space 'Success Schedule,'" Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 30, 1967; "A Time for Deliberation," Washington Evening Star, Feb. 1, 1967; "Haste in Space," Wall Street Journal, Feb. 20, 1967; "The Legacy of Counterfeit Crisis," ibid., Apr. 13, 1967; Jerry E. Bishop, "Moon Race: Can't Machines Do It?" ibid., Apr. 16, Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp Ibid.; Report of Apollo 204 Review Board to the Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Washington, 1967), Floyd L. Thompson, chmn., Apr. 5, See also House Subcommittee on NASA Oversight of the Committee on Science and Astronautics, Investigation into Apollo 204 Accident, hearings, 90/1, Apr. 10 to May 10, 1967; Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, Apollo Accident, hearings, 901 and 902, pts. 1-8, ; idem, Apollo 204 Accident: Report, 5. Rept. 956, 90/2, Jan. 30, Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp ; House, Investigation, passim. 8. Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, p Oscar Griffin, "Rep. Rumsfeld Criticizes NASA For Lack of Reports Before Fire," Houston Chronicle, July 19, 1967; "NASA Losing Its Support, Casey Says," ibid.; W. David Compton and Charles D. Benson, Living and Working in Space; A History of Skylab, NASA SP-4208 (Washington, 1983), p

136 10. House, Investigation, pp ; J. V. Reistrup, "Webb Defends Judgment on Apollo," Washington Post, Apr. 11, Considerable misunderstanding was generated when members of the committees demanded to see the "Phillips Report," which both NASA officials and North American executives professed not to recognize by that name. The members of Congress were referring to a hard-hitting critique of NAA's management, which Gen. Sam Phillips had submitted to NASA and to the contractor in late 1965 [see Chap. 6], but because it took the form of notes enclosed with a letter it was not called a "report." When the document was finally identified, however, Webb, Mueller, and Phillips provoked charges of a cover-up by refusing to furnish it to the committees on the grounds that public disclosure could undermine NASA-contractor relations; William Hines, "Ryan Says NASA Knew of Apollo 'Incompetence,'" Washington Evening Star, Apr. 26, 1967; Thomas O'Toole, "NASA Accused of Covering Up Troubles," Washington Post, May 11, On this point S. Rept. 956 [see note 6, above] stresses the effect of NASA officials' behavior on the legislators' confidence in the agency; see "Additional Views of Mr. Brooke and Mr. Percy," pp , and "Additional Views of Mr. Mondale," pp For more extensive discussion of the fire and its aftermath, see Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots; Benson and Faherty Moonport; and the records of the Senate and House committee investigations cited earlier. As the investigations proceeded, the press raised allegations of questionable political deals that gave North American the contract for the command and service module; see Harry Schwartz, "Unanswered Questions on the Apollo Tragedy," New York Times, Apr. 15, 1967 ; William Hines, "Apollo: A Shining Vision in Trouble," Washington Star, May 21, These allegations were never put in the committee records and remained unsubstantiated. Three years later, however, they were revived in Journey to Tranquility (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday and Co., 1970), by three English journalists, Hugo Young. Bryan Silcock, and Peter Dunn. 11. Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp ; Benson and Faherty, Moonport, pp OMSF, "Manned Space Flight Schedules, vol. I, Level 1 Schedules and Resources Summary," Dec. 1966; House Subcommittee on Manned Space Flight of the Committee on Science and Astronautics, 1967 NASA Authorization, hearings on H.R , 89/2, pt. 2, pp OMSF, "Manned Space Flight Schedules, vol. I, Level 1 Schedules and Resources Summary," May Ibid., February John T. Holloway to Dir., MSC, "Development of Experiments for the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP)," Apr. 14, OMSF, "Manned Space Flight Schedules, vol. I, Level 1 Schedules and Resources Summary," Nov William T. O'Bryant to MSC, attn. Robert O. Piland, "Guidelines for Possible Substitution of Other Instruments for the Lunar Surface Magnetometer in ALSEP," Dec. 23, 1966.; D.,K. Slayton to Mgr., Experiments Program Off., "Possible Replacement of the Lunar Surface Magnetometer on ALSEP," Dec. 22,

137 18. Anon., "ALSEP OSSA Review, October 3, 1966." 19. Slayton to Director, Engineering and Development, "Comments on the ALSEP Delta Preliminary Design Review," Dec. 15, OMSF, "Manned Space Flight Schedules, vol. I, Level 1 Schedules and Resources Summary," July 1967, pp. 49, Leonard Reiffel to Gen. S. C. Phillips, "Flight Schedule for ALSEP and Related Matters," June 20, Harrison H. Schmitt interview, May 30, Phillips to Administrator, "Lunar Surface Magnetometer," June 6, 1967; Piland to Mgr., Apollo Spacecraft Program Office, "ALSEP Program Review with General Phillips, June 1, 1967," June 7, Phillips to Dep. Adm., "Lunar Surface Magnetometer," July 5, 1967, with end., preliminary report of review team; Phillips to Dep. Adm., same subj., Aug. 30, 1967; John F. Parsons (Ames Res. Ctr.) to NASA Hqs., attn. Dr. James H. Turnock, "Lunar Surface Magnetometer Program," Aug. 31, OMSF, "Manned Space Flight Schedules, vol. I, Level 1 Schedules and Resources Summary," monthly issues, Jan. 9 through Oct. 8, Arnold S. Levine, Managing NASA in the Apollo Era, NASA SP-4102 (Washington, 1982), pp ; Compton and Benson, Living and Working in Space, pp , 46-48, President's Science Advisory Committee, The Space Program in the Post-Apollo Period (The White House, February 1967), pp Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp Summer Study of Lunar Science and Exploration, NASA SP-157 (Washington, 1967), pp Anon., "Falmouth plus two years or how much nearer is the whale to the water?" no date [c. Aug. 1966] Summer Study of Lunar Science and Exploration, pp Ibid., pp Ibid., pp Ibid., p

138 35. Ibid., pp Ibid., p Minutes of the Lunar Mission Planning Board, Sept. 28, Robert R. Gilruth, TWX to Hqs., subj. "OSSA Activities - Weekly Report," Nov. 30, Homer E. Newell to Gilruth, Nov. 20, Compton and Benson, Living and Working in Space, pp Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, vol. 3, no. 34, p Senate, Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, NASA's Proposed Operating Plan for Fiscal Year 1968, hearing, 90/1, Nov. 8, For the tribulations and demise of Voyager, see Edward Clinton Ezell and Linda Neuman Ezell, On Mars: Exploration of the Red Planet , NASA SP-4212 (Washington, 1984), pp ; for a general discussion of NASA's budget process and the "phasing down of the space program" in the middle to late 1960s, see Arnold S. Levine, Managing NASA in the Apollo Era, NASA SP-4102 (Washington, 1982), pp Compton and Benson, Living and Working in Space, chapters 3 and 5, deal with AAP's fluctuating plans and fortunes during the period before Apollo Robert C. Seamans, Jr., memorandum for the record, subj.: "Apollo Program Decisions - Manned Apollo Flights and Apollo Applications Program Plans," May 17, "Unified Lunar Exploration Office," NASA Release 68-5, Jan. 4, 1968; Philip E. Culbertson to Wilmot N. Hess, Jan. 3, Gilruth to Newell, "Principal Investigator requirements for the Lunar Receiving Laboratory (LRL)," Jan. 11, Joseph V. Piland, "Lunar Receiving Laboratory Bi-weekly Status Reports," Jan. 9, Jan. 23, Feb. 6, Feb. 20, Mar. 6, Mar. 20, Apr. 3, Apr. 17, 1967; Piland to Dir., MSC, "Phase-out of Lunar Receiving Laboratory Program Office," Apr. 14, Clark Goodman to members of LRL Working Group, "Science and Applications Directorate at MSC," no date [c. Jan. 14, 1967]. 49. MSC Announcements no. 67-7, "Organization and Personnel Assignments for the Science and Applications Directorate," Jan. 10, 1967, and 67-4, "Interim Plan for the Management and Operation of the Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Jan. 13, Melvin Calvin to Newell, Dec. 29, 1966; Paul E. Purser to Deputy Dir., MSC, "Planetary Biology

139 Subcommittee Meeting at MSC on January 10-11, 1967," Jan. 17, George M. Low, "Resume of Meeting of January 16, 1967, at the Communicable Disease Center, Atlanta, Georgia," Jan. 16, "First Lunar Samples Set for Experiment by 110 Scientists," Hqs. Release 67-55, Mar. 16, Low to John E. Naugle, Mar. 9, 1967; Newell to MSC, "Lunar Sample Analysis Planning," June 16, Gilruth to John E. Naugle, "Lunar Sample Analysis Planning," Nov. 15, Ibid. 56. MSC Announcement , "Designation of Chief, Lunar and Earth Sciences Division," Oct. 11, Low to Earle Young, "Various documents concerning back-contamination and lunar sample release," Jan. 23, Robert L. Tweedie, memo for record, "NASA/DOD Interface Conference, Recovery Quarantine Equipment," Aug. 25, 1966; James C. McLane, Jr., to C. R. Haines, "Lunar Receiving Laboratory (LRL) functional interfaces with the Apollo Command Module and returned astronauts," Aug. 24, John E. Pickering, "Minutes, Interagency Committee on Back Contamination," Oct. 3, Collection of related documents, "Interagency Committee on Back Contamination," no date [approx. Aug. 1966], box , JSC History Office files. 61. Aleck C. Bond to record, "Interagency Committee Meeting, October 3, 1966," Oct. 6, W. W. Kemmerer, "Lunar Receiving Laboratory Sample Protocol Briefing December 16, 1966," Dec. 16, 1966; Minutes, Interagency Committee on Back Contamination, Dec. 16, Wolf Vishniac to Dr. Harry S. Lipscomb (Baylor Coll. of Med.), Feb. 2, Bond to Deputy Dir., MSC, "Biological protocol for LRL," Feb Pickering, "Minutes, Interagency Committee on Back Contamination," Mar. 2, Pickering, "Minutes, Interagency Committee on Back Contamination," June 7, Interagency Committee on Back Contamination. "Quarantine Schemes for Manned Lunar Missions," no date [Aug. 1967]

140 68. George E. Mueller to Gilruth, June 2, Joseph V. Piland to Dir., Science and Applications, "Simulated handling of astronauts and returned equipment for Apollo missions," Aug. 9, Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp Bilstein, Stages to Saturn, pp Ibid., pp ; Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp ; Benson and Faherty, Moonport, pp ; MSC, "Apollo 4 Mission Report," MSC-PA-R-68-1, Jan., 1968, pp. 1-1 through 1-4; MSFC, "Saturn V AS-501 Flight Evaluation," MPR-SAT-FE-68-1, Jan. 15, 1968, pp. xxxviii-xlii. 73. Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp James E. Webb to Frank B. Smith, Jan. 7, 1967; Webb to Frederick Seitz, NAS, Feb. 2, 1967 ; Philip H. Whitbeck to Deputy Dir., Administration, MSC, "Operation of the Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Feb. 14, 1967, with encl., "Report on meeting with Mr. Webb on organizational location and operation of the lunar receiving laboratory"; Newell, draft memo to Seamans, "Manned Spacecraft Center Science and Applications Directorate and the National Lunar Research Laboratory," Mar. 2, 1967; Smith, "Comments Made at MSC at 3/16/67 Meeting with Dr. Seitz, George Low, et al., Relative to Management of the LRL," Mar. 27, 1967; anon., viewgraph for presentations on functions of Center for Lunar and Earth Sciences, Dec. 20, 1967, JSC History Office files, box OMSF, "Manned Space Flight Schedules, vol. I, Level 1 Schedules and Resources Summary," Jan. 9, 1968, pp. ii,

141 8 FINAL PREPERATIONS: 1968 Introduction Apollo took longer strides in 1968, perhaps, than in any previous year. In April, fifteen months after the fire, a Saturn V carried an unmanned command module into earth orbit to test launch vehicle and spacecraft systems and to simulate reentry from a lunar voyage. Only months before Apollo 7 tested the redesigned command module with a crew in October, officials at the Manned Spacecraft Center began to think about a much more ambitious flight. After selling their proposal to Headquarters, they began making plans to send a crew to the vicinity of the moon. For Christmas 1968 NASA gave the world a present to remember: live television pictures and oral commentary from the crew of the Apollo 8 spacecraft in lunar orbit. On the science side, progress was less spectacular. Technical problems with the lunar surface experiments were largely overcome, but doubts about the astronauts' ability to unload and deploy the instruments in the time available eventually caused program officials to substitute a smaller science package on the first lunar mission. Several of the systems for handling lunar samples in the lunar receiving laboratory caused major delays, but when the year ended the staff was gearing up for a full-scale simulation. Spacecraft and Mission Progress Most of MSC's activity during 1967 and early 1968 was directed toward reducing the fire hazard in the command module. The spacecraft hatch was redesigned so that the crew could open it unaided in five seconds. Electrical systems and the plumbing that carried oxygen and combustible coolants were thor

142 oughly examined and modified. New materials to replace flammable nylon were investigated. The advantages and disadvantages of atmospheres other than pure oxygen were weighed. Repeated testing gathered data to support recommended changes. A Senior Flammability Board, a Materials Selection Review Board, and a Crew Safety Review Board were established to oversee specific parts of the process, and a tough Configuration Control Board was set up to pass on all proposed changes in the command module. The spacecraft builder, North American Aviation, was prodded to supervise its subcontractors and vendors more closely to ensure on-time delivery of critical subsystems. 1 The lunar landing module was less affected by the fire, but it had its own problems. As had happened two years earlier, its weight continued to creep upward, putting a squeeze on the scientific payload that could be landed on the moon. Stress corrosion - cracks in aluminum structural members - and fragile wiring caused delays and concern for reliability. Perhaps the most serious problem was combustion instability in the lander's ascent engine, which would blast the astronauts in the upper section back into lunar orbit after they had completed their lunar exploration. These were worrisome problems at this late stage, but concentrated effort by the lunar module contractor and two engine contractors produced enough progress by mid-1968 to give NASA managers reason for guarded optimism. 2 Late in January 1968 flight tests resumed when MSC put an unmanned lunar lander through its paces in earth orbit. Designated Apollo 5 and launched on a Saturn I-B, this flight verified operation of the lunar module's propulsion and attitude-control systems and checked out the performance of the instrument unit on the launch vehicle's uppermost stage, the S-IVB. The success of this mission was more encouraging than the one that followed. On April 4 Apollo 6, the second "all-up" unmanned test of the Saturn V, tested launch- vehicle systems and the emergency detection system and allowed launch crews and vehicle engineers to rehearse their tasks once more. Along for the ride, more or less, was a Block I command module with some Block II* modifications; no mission objectives were to be satisfied by this spacecraft except verification of its performance during reentry from a lunar mission. Apollo 6 was trouble from the start. The first-stage burn produced intolerable "pogo" effects (longitudinal oscillations due to irregular fuel feed), and a section of the adapter that mated the spacecraft to the booster blew off during ascent. Two of the five engines on the second stage (S-II) shut down prematurely. Perhaps the most troublesome fault was the failure of the third stage (the S-IVB) to reignite in orbit - the maneuver that, on a lunar mission, would send the Apollo craft on its way to the moon. Marshall Space Flight Center immediately got to work on the problems; yet another unmanned Saturn V test might be needed unless Marshall's engineers could correct them. 3 In spite of the difficulties with Saturn V and the lunar module, in mid-1968 it still seemed possible that manned flights could resume before the end of the year. Command and service module number 101, delivered to the Cape at the end of May, had fewer discrepancies on arrival than any previous spacecraft. It would fly on Apollo 7, the first manned earth-orbital test of the second-generation spacecraft, scheduled for the last quarter of the year. Since that mission would use a Saturn 1-B rather than a Saturn V and would not carry a lunar module, its prospects seemed good. 4 While spacecraft and operations engineers worked toward getting Apollo flying again, their counterparts in the science programs were equally busy preparing for the first lunar landing. Of all the sciencerelated efforts, the lunar surface experiments were in the best shape in early The lunar receiving * The two versions of the command module were designed respectively for earth-orbit and lunar-landing missions. They differed chiefly in onboard systems (guidance and navigation, docking, life-support, etc.)

143 laboratory with its complex scientific equipment, and the elaborate procedures for back-contamination control, had much farther to go before they would be ready to handle their part of the program. Lunar Surface Experiments Commander Jim Lovell practices the "barbell carry," transporting a mockup of the lunar surface experiments package in a walkthrough of the first traverse planned for Apollo 13. The black object on the right with fins, is the radioisotope thermal generator (power unit). During 1967 the Bendix Corporation and MSC ironed out the development problem of the Apollo lunar surface experiments package (ALSEP), and the project was on schedule for the first lunar landing mission. [see Chapter 6] But as the year wore on, doubts about the ability of the astronauts to set up the instruments in the time available,* expressed in July by a Headquarters official, 5 [see Chapter 7] arose in other quarters as well. Planning for lunar surface operations called for one period of activity in which the astronauts would collect a contingency sample, inspect the lunar module, and familiarize themselves with the low-gravity environment. During this excursion - whose length was limited by the capacity of the portable life-support systems - they would scoop up 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of surface material and load it into the sample- return container. No one was sure how much time these activities would require. MSC tended to be very conservative in estimating how much work astronauts could do under lunar surface conditions, and since it was certain that setting up the experiments would * An additional question, raised by MSC's Flight Operations Directorate, was whether any lunar module systems should be turned off during the lunar stay. FOD favored keeping critical systems running so that the astronauts could depart immediately in case an emergency developed; this would require additional consumables which would cut into LM weight margins. Minutes, Lunar Missions Planning Board, May 19,

144 take a good deal of time and effort, deployment was not scheduled during the first extravehicular period. "For planning purposes," preliminary plans called for a second moon walk during which the crew would unload, lay out, and connect the science instruments. 6 As planning went on, however, and the limitations of time and life-support systems became clearer, the flight of the planned group of instruments on the first lunar landing mission became more doubtful. Simulations showed that a suited astronaut had serious difficulty in unloading the package from the lunar module. To complicate the situation further, weight was a growing problem with the lunar module and difficulties were developing with the radioisotope thermoelectric generator that provided power for the experiments. By mid-1968 planners were already discussing the need to develop a smaller, less complex package for that flight, so that some minimum scientific return would be realized. 7 MSC's normal conservatism in matters of crew safety and mission success grew even stronger during the summer. The more engineers and mission planners looked at alternatives the more attractive a simplified plan for lunar surface operations became. The first lunar landing would, after all, be the most hazardous (potentially catastrophic) space mission yet, and it would be done with a spacecraft that had not been (and could not be) tested under conditions exactly duplicating the mission. Houston's concern had its effect in Washington. In June George Mueller asked Gilruth to schedule a simulation of instrument deployment so that he could make his own evaluation. 8 After this was completed in mid-august 1968, Sam Phillips, Apollo program director at Headquarters, conferred with the chairman of the Science and Technology Advisory Committee** on proposed changes in plans for the first lunar landing. When they reached agreement, Phillips notified committee members of the new plans. Instead of a 26- hour stay on the moon and two-person excursions, he said, "it now seems prudent to limit the lunar surface staytime to about 20 hours and the EVA [extravehicular activity] to a single one-person excursion of 2 to 2 1/2 hours duration." This decision was based on experience in Gemini, where MSC had been unpleasantly surprised by the difficulty of working in null gravity. Whereas previous plans had called for the astronauts to set up a high-gain (strongly directional) antenna for television transmission, conduct preliminary geological exploration, collect samples, and emplace the lunar surface experiments package, mission planners now proposed to curtail the geological exploration, to depend on the 64-meter antenna at Goldstone, California, to pick up TV signals from a less directional antenna that did not have to be deployed by the astronauts, and to carry no scientific instruments at all. Phillips regretfully acknowledged that much scientific information would be lost but noted that subsequent missions would make up for it. Offsetting that loss would be operational advantages that looked extremely attractive: an increase in the safety margins for the lunar module's propulsion systems; maintenance of the lunar module in a state of readiness for quick departure in an emergency; and simplification of the training program, which was becoming undesirably complex. 9 Phillips's action was welcomed by most of the MSC officials directly involved, but not by Wilmot Hess, director of science and applications. Hess, who had been fighting the battle for Apollo science on many fronts for the past two years, was dismayed by Phillips's proposals. In a vigorous remonstrance he deplored the severe loss to lunar science and the loss of credibility among the scientists that MSC would suffer if the proposed changes were adopted: What can I answer to the critics of the manned program?... People in NASA and outside... have repeatedly told me that no useful science had been done on Gemini and that none would be done on Apollo. My answer has been that it... would start with the lunar landings. This is

145 not the case now. A person who says now that the scientific program of Apollo could be carried out as well using the Surveyor Block III spacecraft has a very good story. I don't know how to answer him. Hess strongly urged that the proposed single EVA be open-ended, lasting up to three hours if all should go well, and carrying all the scientific instruments:... if there is a chance of getting one experiment deployed... it would be better to carry ALSEP and take the chance of not deploying it rather than not carry [it] and... lose any chance to do this important experiment. He closed with a strong recommendation to carry several small, easily deployed experiments on the first landing and to make a firm announcement that the second lunar landing would include a 35-hour stay, three EVAs, and the conduct of the entire science program: collection of samples, deployment of the full package of surface experiments, and carrying out the field geology program. 10 In response to Hess's plea Phillips asked MSC to propose a contingency science program for the first landing; this was prepared and reviewed at MSC early in October. In discussions with Phillips and George Low, MSC Apollo spacecraft program manager, Hess, won back some important points for science. The new experiments package would contain three simple instruments: a laser retroreflector, requiring no electrical power, with which variations in the earth-moon distance could be measured with great accuracy; a passive seismometer powered by solar panels; and a solar-wind composition experiment, also passive and requiring very little astronaut attention to set up. The astronaut on the lunar surface would not spend time simply testing his mobility and agility, but would carry out some productive scientific tasks while acclimating himself, such as collecting and packaging samples and taking documentary photographs of samples as they were collected. Hess forwarded his proposals to Robert Gilruth and prepared a procurement plan for the new set of experiments. 11 On November 5, Headquarters approved the new package and authorized MSC to modify Bendix's contract to build it. Manufacture could start before the final terms were negotiated, as time was critical. Some difficulty was expected in fabricating the laser reflector (an array of a hundred individual "corner reflectors," internal corners of cubes made of silica, polished to fine tolerances and precisely aligned) and MSC was authorized to pursue parallel approaches with the University of Maryland and the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory, both of which were working on similar projects. 12 The new package would be called the "early Apollo scientific experiments package," or "EASEP." 13 Total funding for the package was $5.3 million, and delivery was to be scheduled for May 15, Formal assignment of EASEP to the first landing mission was made by direction of the Apollo configuration control board on December Hess's vigorous advocacy saved a minimal scientific return for the first lunar landing mission, and the original group of experiments - with some changes - would be flown on all subsequent missions. Whether the dire consequences he anticipated in the event of complete cancellation would have materialized is debatable. As early as May 1968 the Planetology Subcommittee of the Space Science and Applications Steering Committee had been warned of such a possibility and had not objected; it merely urged that a set of backup experiments be developed in parallel, to be ready in case the complete package could not be flown. 16 The scientists who were to conduct the experiments agreed - after the

146 fact - that the changes were acceptable under the circumstances, but expressed understandable vexation because they were not consulted before the decision. 17 Still, the mood of many scientists outside NASA was such that removing the lunar surface experiments from the first mission might well have provoked a new storm of criticism of the Apollo program. Lunar Receiving Laboratory Construction of the lunar receiving laboratory was virtually complete by the middle of 1967; Hess held a press conference to open the new facility on June For the rest of the year and much of 1968, NASA and Brown & Root-Northrop, support contractor responsible for operating the laboratory, were occupied with installation and testing of the specialized equipment required for quarantine testing and sample handling. Brown & Root-Northrop set up training programs for the technicians who would do much of the work in the laboratory. In April 1968, to assure coordination of effort between quarantine studies and scientific investigations, the two MSC directorates principally involved - medical research and operations and science and applications - began holding monthly meetings on the status and problems of the receiving laboratory. 19 MSC officials planned an operational readiness inspection for the last quarter of 1968, and contemplated partial and complete simulations as soon as they could begin, to exercise the laboratory's functions and uncover flaws in equipment and procedures. 20 As could be expected for a facility of such complexity, many technical problems arose in the lunar receiving laboratory during the installation and testing of its equipment. Both in the sample-handling area and in the biological laboratories, difficulties slowed progress until late summer. 21 By mid- September, however, problems with autoclaves (pressure vessels for sterilizing items to be transferred out of the biological containment area) were the only serious concern. Laboratory managers prepared and sent to the MSC director a request to appoint an Operational Readiness Inspection Board for the receiving laboratory. 22 While awaiting completion of the laboratory, scientists on the preliminary examination team and the lunar sample analysis planning team were busy defining their procedures and preparing for simulations. 23 Both teams met at Houston frequently during 1968 to discuss issues of importance in operation of the laboratory and to maintain liaison with the principal investigators. For the outside members of these teams, many of whom were university researchers, preparations for the laboratory work to follow the first lunar landing entailed a considerable sacrifice of time from their normal duties. 24 Simulations would require from 10 to 30 consecutive days of work in the laboratory. Late in October the science teams gathered in Houston to conduct a training session and simulation of operations in the sample-receiving and -processing sections of the receiving laboratory. 25 The 10-day exercise uncovered 82 major and minor faults in equipment. A substantial number of these impaired effective operation of the vacuum system in which the sample return containers were opened. The vacuum chamber, like most of the other cabinets that comprised the primary biological barrier, was a "glove box," designed so that various tools, stored inside, could be manually manipulated through a pair of impermeable gloves built into the chamber wall. The gloves had to withstand a pressure difference of around 100 kilopascals (15 pounds per square inch - a high vacuum inside and normal atmospheric pressure outside); consequently they were stiff, making it difficult for the operator to use the small hand tools with any dexterity and sensitivity. The simulation also revealed that the viewing ports

147 left blind spots for the operator in some corners of the chamber. These and other problems necessitated more than 80 major and minor changes to the system and procedures before a full mission simulation could be conducted some time in early MSC established a configuration control board for the receiving laboratory to pass on proposed changes and keep nonessential ones from proliferating. 27 By October 1968 sufficient progress had been made to conduct an operational readiness inspection - a mandatory procedure for all MSC facilities. MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth appointed a 10-person committee to review the facilities, staffing, and operational plans. 28 After an initial meeting in early November and a complete briefing two weeks later, committee members spent a month scrutinizing physical facilities, staffing and personnel training, and operational procedures. 29 The committee's recommendations, submitted in mid-december, included 72 mandatory and 91 desirable changes necessary to render the laboratory acceptable for operation. 30 Preparations for a 30-day simulation of receiving laboratory operations, scheduled for March and April, occupied most of the early months of In the interim between the operational readiness inspection and the simulation, laboratory staff and contractor employees worked to iron out the remaining problems. Problems with Back-Contamination Control The receiving laboratory was only part of the scheme for preventing contamination of the earth by alien organisms. Between the spacecraft floating on the Pacific Ocean and the laboratory in Houston was a long chain of events that offered several chances to contaminate the environment. Early in 1968, spumed by expressions of concern by scientists outside the government, the Interagency Committee on Back Contamination (ICBC) revived the question of whether lunar contaminants could be completely prevented from escaping into the biosphere during recovery operations, particularly between the floating command module and the mobile quarantine facility aboard the recovery ship. For two years the committee had been uneasy about this problem, and at its February meeting the chairman opened the discussion once more. The committee asked MSC's landing and recovery division to provide a detailed discussion on the return lunar mission [focusing on] containment countermeasures on the lunar surface, in the Lunar Module (LM) ascent stage, during LM-CM transfer, during CM earth return, splashdown, retrieval, operations onboard the recovery vessel, transfer into the mobile isolation unit, and delivery and transfer into the LRL. Committee members also wanted details of MSC's contingency plans for biological containment in case the spacecraft came down outside the primary recovery zone. 31 These requests surprised Apollo officials at Houston, who thought those questions had long been settled. Nonetheless, MSC engineers reviewed the subject again at the June meeting of the ICBC, and the committee kept the containment question on its agenda for further study. 32 At its October meeting the ICBC reiterated its considered opinion that the recovery crew should attach some type of biological filter to the spacecraft's post-landing ventilation valve, which circulated air through the command module and exhausted it to the outside. When this question had been raised two years before, MSC had demurred, warning that an effective filter would reduce the efficiency of the ventilation system to an unacceptable level and that attaching it to a floating spacecraft was too hazardous to the recovery crew,

148 especially in a rough sea. The committee insisted, however, that development of a filter attachment with a supplemental fan should be "energetically pursued to avoid what could be compromised and untoward decisions." 33 When these discussions came to the attention of MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth, he asked for a detailed briefing on the situation and ordered another review of the question. 34 Further discussions at MSC reaffirmed the center's basic position that biological isolation garments for the crew [see Chapter 7] constituted the best available containment in view of the difficulties presented by more secure measures. MSC officials did, however, propose to take more stringent precautions against bringing lunar dust into the command module. 35 Preliminary discussions of these procedures with an ad hoc committee of the ICBC produced tentative agreement. 36 At the full committee meeting, however, agreement could not be reached. MSC presented its plans for minimizing the transfer of lunar dust into the lunar module and thence into the command module, which apparently mollified the ICBC somewhat. But after reviewing the results of a simulation of Apollo 9, which had included the use of the biological isolation garments and other phases of recovery, the committee was convinced that recovery procedures allowed a breach of containment that must be corrected. 37 Dr. David Sencer, the ICBC chairman, then wrote a strongly worded letter to Thomas O. Paine, newly appointed NASA administrator,* expressing dismay over MSC's apparent failure to appreciate the problem and make serious efforts to correct it. He pointed out that if recovery procedures allowed lunar organisms to contaminate the earth, the rest of the elaborate (and expensive) chain of quarantine was rendered useless and the space agency would lay itself open to severe criticism by the public and the scientific community. Sencer told Paine that the ICBC had considered recommending that the first mission be delayed so the situation could be corrected, but had decided instead to recommend that a filtration system for the command module be positively required on all future lunar missions - on the first, if possible, but only if it would not delay the mission. The risk of contamination was acceptable only if strict housekeeping procedures were enforced to minimize the amount of lunar dust brought into the command module and if recovery teams were thoroughly trained and required to observe contamination-control measures. 38 Sencer's letter produced immediate results. The questions were aired at a Manned Space Flight Management Council meeting on April 9, after which Sam Phillips directed Houston's spacecraft project manager, George Low, to begin immediate action on the ICBC's concerns. 39 Low assigned a variety of tasks to various MSC offices: reexamination of the feasibility of adding a biological filter to the postlanding ventilation system, a look at the possibility of maintaining air flow from the command module to the lunar module during crew transfer in lunar orbit, and a study of reinforcing the command module's hoisting ring to allow the spacecraft to be safely lifted onto the recovery ship with the crew still inside. 40 Houston reported the early results of its studies to Headquarters two weeks later, then continued to work the problems with a view to submitting concrete proposals to the next interagency committee meeting in early May. 41 But time was running short. Plans called for the first lunar landing mission to be launched in July; back-contamination procedures were still not approved, and the receiving laboratory, critical to the program, was still far from ready. Bob Gilruth became uneasy. In early April he put his special assis- * Paine had been deputy administrator under James Webb since early When Webb retired in October, Paine became acting administrator; he was appointed and confirmed as administrator in March

149 tant, Richard S. Johnston, in charge of all management activities relating to the receiving laboratory and back-contamination procedures, with the full authority of the director's office. 42 Johnston had been chief of the Crew Systems Division at MSC for many years before moving up to the post of Special Assistant to the Director, and had built a reputation as a forceful administrator who could get things done. Johnston's first task was to present a summary of MSC's position on back-contamination problems at the May meeting of the ICBC. Stressing that in MSC's opinion the questions of controlling backcontamination during recovery had been settled earlier, Johnston went ahead to outline MSC's plans in detail. Flight plans called for the astronauts to contain as much lunar dust as possible in the lunar module by vacuuming it off their space suits, then doffing the suits and sealing them in storage bags before returning to the command module.** During the transfer the LM pressure relief valve would be opened and the oxygen flow in the command module would be increased, to maintain a current of gas flowing from the command module to the lunar module, thus minimizing the amount of dust carried into the command module. Tests convinced spacecraft engineers that the command module's environmental control system - specifically the canisters of solid lithium hydroxide that absorbed carbon dioxide - would effectively filter particles (including microorganisms) out of the spacecraft atmosphere during the 63-hour trip back from the moon. Thus only the astronauts would be a potential source of biological contamination, and they could be isolated from the environment by donning the special garments provided for the purpose. Johnston reiterated that adding a biological filter to the command module ventilation system was not necessary and was undesirable. However, MSC would continue to study the implications of adding such a filter to later missions. As for modifying recovery procedures to minimize possible contamination, MSC was unwilling to compromise safety. Hoisting the closed spacecraft to the deck of the recovery ship, as the committee preferred, was not acceptable because of the many hazards involved. Houston officials preferred to leave recovery operations unchanged and to indoctrinate the recovery crews in techniques for minimizing contact between the spacecraft interior and the earth's atmosphere. 43 The interagency committee found MSC's proposed procedures generally acceptable, at least for the first mission, but wanted to see the results of more tests before certifying them as effective. Members still felt a need to add the post-landing ventilation filter for the second and subsequent flights. They also thought MSC should pay more attention to contingency recovery procedures, since there was more chance of contamination escaping if the spacecraft had to be picked up by a ship other than the primary recovery vessel. 44 But they seemed satisfied that under Johnston's direction the Manned Spacecraft Center was making a stronger effort than before to comply with their recommendations. Final Simulations and Certification The successful flight of Apollo 8 into lunar orbit during the Christmas season of 1968 emphasized the fact that a lunar landing was fast approaching and that preparations for back-contamination control were becoming critical. Headquarters began to take a more active interest in the receiving laboratory ** The crew of Apollo 10, after testing the lunar module in lunar orbit, recommended against this procedure. They believed it was unacceptably hazardous because in the cramped lunar module the body movements involved could too easily result in contact with fragile areas, such as the windows. Their recommendation was later accepted by the ICBC. Donald K. Slayton to Special Asst. to the Dir. and Mgr., Apollo Spacecraft Program, "Suit Doffing in LM," June 2, 1969; Richard S. Johnston to Dir., Flight [Crew] Operations, same subj., June 11,

150 and related operations as 1969 began. Apollo program director Sam Phillips came to Houston in early February for a thorough review of containment from splashdown to release from quarantine. 45 Ten days later George Mueller, whose Office of Manned Space Flight had just been given full responsibility within NASA for back-contamination control, brought a group of advisers from the regulatory agencies to scrutinize Houston's preparations. 46 These advisers found the receiving lab far from ready to handle a mission: equipment problems, a shortage of technicians, incompletely trained personnel, and deficient protocols for biological testing all required work. 47 These and other deficiencies were expected to surface during a month-long dress rehearsal of laboratory operations scheduled to start March 3. This exercise could not exactly simulate every detail of operations because of equipment limitations, but it would come as close as possible. During the second week a simulation of recovery operations would be run in connection with the flight of Apollo 9, to evaluate the transfer of astronauts from the recovery ship to the mobile quarantine facility and then to the crew reception area of the lunar receiving laboratory. 48 Expectations were borne out by the results of the simulation. Scores of faults, most of them minor but some of them critical, emerged in both equipment and procedures. 49 Among the more serious problems was contamination of the first work station - the vacuum chamber in which the lunar sample containers were opened. Somehow minute traces of organic matter had found their way into the system, threatening to vitiate the search for indigenous organic material in the samples. Worse yet, the level of contamination was not constant, so the investigators could not correct their findings for it. When it appeared that the contamination came from the vacuum pumping system, investigators began to consider alternatives to opening the sample containers under vacuum to keep the lunar material in pristine condition. The best choice seemed to be to fill the chamber with a gas (sterile nitrogen) that would not interfere with subsequent analyses. 50 The receiving laboratory staff continued to work on the many details of laboratory operation throughout the spring. Progress continued toward certification of the quarantine facilities and back-contamination procedures. 51 By the time the interagency committee met on June 5, MSC had completed action on most of the outstanding questions and the committee granted certification of the lunar receiving laboratory as a biological containment facility. 52 The launch of Apollo 11 was only five weeks away when another mission simulation got under way in the laboratory, with only minor technical problems remaining to be worked out. 53 Considering the technical sophistication of the receiving laboratory and the rigorous procedures for handling the lunar samples, it is hardly surprising that problems persisted as long as they did. Management arrangements contributed as well; the outside scientists who were intimately involved in examination and distribution of the samples could not spend full time at MSC, making continuity of activity more difficult. Wilmot Hess was sensitive to the need for close cooperation between MSC and the outside scientific community, and the relationships established in the two years before the first landing went a long way toward alleviating the problem. Quarantine and back-contamination control added to the overall complexity. Without a doubt, most engineers and lunar scientists at MSC took the back-contamination problem much less seriously than did the interagency committee - which, unfortunately for the engineers, had the authority to impose its requirements on the program. The reemergence in early 1969 of concern with back-contamination

151 during recovery operations can be attributed to the committee's perception that MSC was not cooperating to solve the problem because the engineers considered it unimportant. 54 In the end, the committee yielded at least as much as the engineers on the question of biological containment, but it required considerable effort and tactful interaction with the committee to produce that result. The start of operations in the receiving laboratory coincided with a period of retrenchment in NASA, and technical difficulties were compounded by personnel problems. Rising budget deficits in the last two years of Lyndon Johnson's administration had alarmed Congress and put a real squeeze on federal programs, not excepting NASA's. Apollo suffered less than other programs, 55 but it was not completely immune to economy measures. Ever since authorization hearings began in early 1968 the field centers had been under pressure to reduce expenditures and cut staff. 56 MSC's inability to add professional staff in the receiving laboratory affected more than just the science. Four months before Apollo 11 flew, the Office of Manned Space Flight's operations forecast for 1969 showed lunar landing missions being launched at two- to three-month intervals after the first. Gilruth took exception, however, advising Headquarters that, with its current complement of professionals, the lunar receiving laboratory could support a lunar mission only once every four months and that only if all went well during each quarantine period. 57 The laboratory had enough professional staff to operate only two fully productive shifts a day; a third "holding shift" was manned principally by technicians, who maintained the laboratory but did not continue processing the samples. 58 Nonetheless, on June 4, 1969, mission operating conditions were established in the laboratory, 59 and a Task Group was formed to direct operations during the Apollo 11 mission. 60 With the launch date for Apollo 11 inexorably approaching, the laboratory staff continued to refine sample-handling procedures and work on the last remaining technical problems. Picking Landing Sites Landing site evaluation had begun as soon as photographs from the first Lunar Orbiters became available. [see Chapter 6] By March 1967 MSC's Lunar and Earth Sciences Division had prepared a short list of candidate sites,* which it presented to the Apollo Site Selection Board. Operational considerations predominated at this stage of planning; the sites were all within the "Apollo zone of interest" (5 degrees north to 5 degrees south latitude, 45 degrees east to 45 degrees west longitude) and appeared from the Orbiter photographs to be comparatively level and smooth. MSC recommended that sites for the first landing be chosen from that list by August 1. The board accepted that recommendation. 61 For the rest of the year the Apollo Site Selection Board worked steadily, with input from Bellcomm, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Group for Lunar Exploration Planning, evaluating additional photographs from Lunar Orbiters as they became available.** Meanwhile MSC continued to study the operational constraints of its chosen sites; planners were mainly concerned with slopes and irregularities in the terrain along the approaches to the sites, which could interfere with the * "Landing sites," as somewhat loosely used in the following discussion, corresponds more nearly to the "landing areas" previously mentioned. [Chapter. 6] However, within the larger areas studied, MSC evaluators did examine several specific landing ellipses - "sites," in the sense that term was used before. ** Lunar Orbiters III, IV, and V, launched on Feb. 4, May 4, and Aug. 1, 1967, all returned photographs used in Apollo landing site selection. Four more Surveyors were landed by early 1968 as well; although they were mainly equipped for scientific studies, they also provided Apollo with useful data on properties of lunar soil

152 lunar module's landing radar. The data necessary to make the final choice of sites (principally topographic maps) were slow in coming, however, and MSC could not meet the August 1 date it had proposed. 62 Instead the site selection board met at Houston on December 15 to decide on sites for the first two missions and to lay out a schedule for future activities. MSC presented the results of its studies on approach paths, which showed that all the "Set B" sites were acceptable. Simulations showed that the lunar module's landing radar could guide the spacecraft to a landing at any of the eight sites. A considerable part of the discussion dealt with the number of sites to be retained in planning for each mission. At this stage no one could be sure that every mission would be launched on time. If a technical malfunction caused a countdown to be stopped, up to 66 hours' delay in launching might be necessary, in which case a more westerly landing site would have to be substituted for the original. This entailed complications in other aspects of mission preparation - it required the astronauts to become familiar with three different landing approaches and geologic areas, for example, and increased the requirements for maps and other data - but the alternative was to postpone the launch for at least a month. 63 After summing up the detailed evaluations, John E. Eggleston, chief of MSC's Lunar and Earth Sciences Division, recommended five of the best sites ("Set C") for the first landing mission and another six for the second, which the board approved. 64 Eggleston and Wilmot Hess, chief of MSC's Science and Applications Directorate, then directed the board's attention to the need to begin evaluating sites for the third and subsequent missions. Landing areas topographically different from those already chosen should be examined. Evaluation of highland sites in or near the Apollo zone should be started. Board chairman Sam Phillips agreed in principle that the third mission could be more ambitious, but he advised planners to stay on the conservative side for the time being and look for science targets in the areas covered by the Set B sites. A U.S. Geologic Survey representative suggested that in some cases shifting the landing point only a few kilometers within a selected area would bring the astronautexplorers within walking distance of some scientifically interesting features. He also pointed out that if the first landing was made in an eastern mare the second should be targeted to a western one, since maria showed different characteristics in the two regions. 65 From early 1968 onward the site selection teams would get only limited additional lunar photography, since after the fifth*** no more Orbiters would be flown. Orbiter photographic coverage, however, was not comprehensive; it did not cover every interesting site with sufficient resolution to permit detailed evaluation. Until the middle of 1967 the Office of Manned Space Flight was planning to fly an advanced lunar mapping and survey system that would furnish more detailed coverage of a greater portion of the lunar surface; but in August its potential value to Apollo was judged to be marginal and its further development was canceled to save money. 66 The following March, however, Sam Phillips noted a continuing need for lunar photography and asked MSC to consider how it might be provided by astronauts in lunar orbit on scheduled Apollo flights. 67 Houston enumerated several types of cameras and film that could be useful in site selection and in lunar cartography, and scientific interpretation as well. 68 Planning was started for a considerable amount of lunar surface photography, including candidate sites for future landings, to be conducted on every manned lunar mission. *** Launched Aug. I, 1967, Lunar Orbiter V completed its photographic mission on Aug. 18 and crashed into the moon Jan 31,

153 Looking Beyond the First Landings As 1967 ended, the short list of sites for the first manned lunar landing had been approved and a longer list for the second mission had been tentatively selected. The site selection board would continue to work with flight planners and scientists to narrow down the choices. Meanwhile, as evidenced by the comments of Eggleston and Hess at the December meeting of the site selection board, attention was shifting to planning for the later missions. As early as April 1967, the Manned Spacecraft Center's Science and Applications Directorate had put together a plan for lunar scientific exploration, to identify the scientific observations essential to basic understanding of the moon. As guidelines, the review used the fifteen scientific questions about the moon formulated by the Woods Hole summer study of [see Appendix 3] The plan envisioned eight manned lunar missions, including one orbital mission which would take photographs and gather data with remote sensors, arranged in a logical geological sequence and spaced to allow scientists to digest the results of each mission before executing the next. No more than three landings in the "Apollo zone" were contemplated, and a highland area rather than a mare might be considered as early as the third landing. Both geological exploration by the astronauts and emplacement of instruments for longterm data collection were contemplated. The plan concluded that each mission should stay long enough to accomplish the scientific tasks planned for it; there was no point in staying 14 days unless the extra time could be put to good use. Short-range mobility aids for the astronauts, such as a one-man flying vehicle, would be necessary for later missions, but there was no real need for a vehicle that could cover hundreds of kilometers. 69 The MSC plan was partly an effort to focus local attention on hardware and mission planning requirements for the later scientific flights, partly a contribution to higher-level agency planning. Throughout 1967 a joint study team from the Offices of Manned Space Flight and Space Science and Applications in Headquarters had been working on the same question, in collaboration with Wilmot Hess and the Group for Lunar Exploration Planning (formed after the 1967 Santa Cruz conference; [see Chapter 7]). 70 In February 1968 Headquarters issued its own lunar exploration plan through the new Apollo Lunar Exploration Office. This plan, more comprehensive than MSC's, outlined a strategy for lunar exploration including and extending beyond currently planned Apollo missions. Headquarters' strategy called for a combination of orbital and surface missions to photograph and map structural features of interest and collect representative samples, emplace a network of geophysical instruments for long-term monitoring of the moon, and carry out long-range traverses to link local and regional studies together. The lunar exploration program would be evolutionary, stressing initial use of existing equipment, extending its useful life, and introducing new developments as required. Desirable modifications included upgrading the Saturn V to increase its lunar payload by 12 to 15 percent; extending power and life-support systems on the lunar module to support astronauts for three days on the moon; and reducing the lander's conservative propulsion allocations, as experience warranted, to increase scientific payload. 71 The plan projected several new developments to extend the range of exploration and increase the amount of useful work the astronauts could perform: one-man flying units, a small roving vehicle, a local scientific survey module with longer range that could be operated remotely, and a dual-launch system using two Saturn Vs. The second (unmanned) booster of a dual-launch mission could carry

154 either a lunar payload module providing extra scientific equipment or an extended lunar module with additional expendables for life support, to be landed at the selected exploration site. The proposed schedule called for introducing the extended lunar module, which could support three-day stays on the moon and would carry short-range mobility aids, by mid Thereafter no more than two missions per year should be flown, new capabilities being added as early as possible within budgetary limitations. Sites for nine missions of special scientific interest requiring systematic increases in mission capability were described in an appendix.* 72 Estimates of what such a program would cost were necessarily tentative, but the report calculated upper and lower limits based on current assumptions about production of Saturn Vs and spacecraft. Over the next eight fiscal years, new payloads and additional spacecraft and launch vehicles would cost from $4.20 billion to $5.54 billion, depending on which Apollo mission made the first landing. Funding was expected to peak in fiscal 1972 at $1 billion to $1.3 billion. 73 Lee Scherer, head of the Lunar Exploration Program Office, toured NASA installations in March to brief center officials of the plan. His first stop was in Houston, and afterwards MSC Director Robert Gilruth offered his center's comments to George Mueller, calling the plan "thoughtfully developed, well integrated, [and] unified." His sole reservation was that the funds provided for the next year seemed inadequate to make a real start immediately: I believe the FY 1969 budget requested should be increased to the amount that can be spent wisely to initiate procurement activities to support the program. Without additional monies early, the proposed flight dates will be very difficult to achieve. More serious, however, the impression may be created that the program can wait another year to really get started. 74 A month later Gilruth again urged that Mueller start development for the advanced Apollo missions. Reminding Mueller of the President's Science Advisory Committee's public statement** that only two or three lunar landing missions with the basic Apollo systems could be justified, Gilruth emphasized that additional stay time, mobility, and scientific payload are considered essential for later missions to produce adequate scientific payload to justify the mission.... In order to obtain the increased capabilities... a small but significant amount of funds must be committed in FY Both the lunar flying unit and the extended lunar module could benefit from additional funds in the current fiscal year. Acknowledging a general reluctance in Headquarters to propose "new starts" (projects not already approved by Congress for Apollo), Gilruth nonetheless urged Mueller to start on an unmanned logistic support system.*** Should development be postponed, he said, * The sites, identified by the names of nearby craters or other physical features, were: Censorinus, Littrow, Abulfeda, Hyginus, Appenine front-hadley Rille, Tycho, Schroeter's Valley, Marius Hills, and Copernicus. Hadley Rille and a site near Littrow were visited by 3-day Apollo missions. ** In its report, The Space Program in the Post-Apollo Period, published in February 1967; [see Chapter 7] *** In 1962 Joseph Shea, Deputy Director for Systems in the Office of Manned Space Flight, had helped to secure Wernher von Braun's support for lunar orbit rendezvous by suggesting that Marshall Space Flight Center develop a logistic support system and a lunar roving vehicle; see Courtney G. Brooks, James M. Grimwood, and Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., Chariots for Apollo, NASA SP-4205 (Washington, 1979), pp

155 it appears to us that the alternatives to significantly more money for lunar exploration... in FY 1969 will all be very embarrassing to NASA in If the longer, more productive missions could not be conducted because the systems had not yet been developed, the choices might all be unattractive: dual missions of standard Apollo equipment at excessive expense, single Apollo missions of limited productivity - certain to draw criticism from the scientists-or intervals of a year or more between launches, which would make it difficult to maintain launch capability at the Cape. 75 Mueller had presented the basic lunar exploration plan to the House Manned Space Flight subcommittee earlier in February, but with no details of schedule or budget. It had provoked little discussion. About a logistic support system, he said only that it continued to be an objective and that studies would continue to determine the best way to carry larger scientific payloads and support longer stays On the lunar surface. 76 If anyone had reason to be pleased with the lunar exploration plan, the lunar scientists did. To provide scientific advice to Scherer's planners, the Group for Lunar Exploration Planning had met for two days in January 1968 to create a list of recommendations based on the conclusions of the Santa Cruz conference the previous summer. The plan issued in February incorporated every every major recommendation they made - the extended lunar module, the lunar flying unit, and the logistic support system - and included the most favored science sites. 77 Extended lunar exploration would not be delayed by lack of cooperation at the Manned Spacecraft Center. Gilruth's recorded reaction to the plan seems to show that Houston was ready to participate fully in conducting it. But at Headquarters George Mueller seemed less eager to move rapidly. Mueller had many other problems in 1968; the Saturn V had not yet been fully qualified, and both the command module and lunar module had problems yet to be solved. 78 Against that background, Mueller was not in a hurry to seek approval of plans to modify the lunar spacecraft before the principal objective had been achieved. At the same time he was working hard to establish a post-apollo program that Congress would support. 79 Mission Planning and Operations, 1968 Site evaluation continued throughout 1968, with considerable attention given to reducing the number of potential landing sites being considered. Keeping five sites as alternatives created problems in providing the necessary maps, photographs, and terrain models for the simulators. On the other hand, until the team at the Cape could be sure of on-time launches, alternate sites had to be kept in the plans to avoid a month's delay in launching a mission. 80 Experience alone would answer many of the critical questions, and in the last half of 1968 some very important experience was gained. By early fall the reworked command and service module was ready for an earth-orbital test. The 11-day flight of Apollo 7 (October 11-22) was successful in all respects, demonstrating the performance of spacecraft, crew, and mission support facilities in extended earthorbital flight. Among other critical activities, the crew simulated rendezvous with the S-IVB stage (which would carry the lunar module on a lunar landing mission) and fired the service module engine

156 eight times without failure. That was especially gratifying, because if that engine failed the spacecraft could neither enter lunar orbit for a lunar landing nor return from lunar orbit after completing a landing mission. 81 Even before Apollo 7 flew, project officials made one of the more daring decisions of the entire program: to send a crew to orbit the moon on the first manned flight of the Saturn V. Planners had long felt the need for such a mission to verify communications and navigation at lunar distances. In the alphabetical scheme of flights. [see Chapter 7] the "E" (fifth) mission was to approximate these conditions in high earth orbit. In August, MSC Apollo manager George Low set his people to work plans to extend the flight to lunar orbit. In a week of intensive discussions no "show-stoppers" emerged, and neither Marshall nor Kennedy Space Center officials expressed any reservations about it. By mid-month, Houston had clearance from Headquarters to prepare for a "C-prime" mission, contingent on successful qualification of the spacecraft on Apollo 7. The lunar flight, to be designated Apollo 8, would take a manned command and service module into orbit around the moon, check out critical systems at lunar distances, and return. 82 It had to be done sooner or later, and as more than one official mentioned during the planning discussions, it was essential to assuring a successful lunar landing by the end of Yet the decision to send men to the moon on the Saturn V's third flight seems almost breathtaking. The flight record of the big booster at the time (two flights, one completely successful, the other plagued by malfunctions) was enough to give managers pause; and the risks to be taken on a lunar mission were far more serious than those of an earth-orbital mission. Still, among NASA officials and Apollo contractor executives, no serious doubts were raised about sending Apollo 8 to the moon at the end of The first men ever to see the moon at close range, Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, Jr., and William A. Anders, left Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center early in the morning of December 21, 1968, aboard Apollo command module 103. Four days later they fired their main propulsion engine and the spacecraft became a captive of the moon's gravity, in an elliptical orbit which they later changed to a near-circular orbit 60 nautical miles (111 kilometers) above the surface. For the next 20 hours they took photographs, relayed their visual observations and descriptions of the topography back to Mission Control, and gave viewers on Earth spectacular television views of the moon and of their home planet. On Christmas day in the early morning, at the end of the 10th trip around the moon, they fired the service module engine once more to return to Earth. The success of this maneuver prompted Lovell to notify Houston, "Please be informed there is a Santa Claus." 84 Had it failed, he and his crewmates would have remained where they were, circling the moon until their oxygen ran out. The space program was spared that grisly possibility, however, and the propulsion burn was so accurate that only one of three planned course-correction maneuvers had to be conducted on the way back - an adjustment of 4.8 feet per second (1.5 meters per second). After an uneventful return trip, they splashed down before dawn on December 27 in the Pacific Ocean, less than three miles (4.8 kilometers) from the recovery ship. 85 As the climax of nearly two years of painful recovery from the tragedy of AS-204, Apollo 8 was a triumph the American space program badly needed. It not only restored the prestige of NASA and boosted the morale of the entire Apollo work force, it provided the confidence in spacecraft and ground

157 support systems that no other, less daring, mission could have provided. About all that remained before the first landing was to prove that the lunar module could carry out its part of the mission; two flights in 1969 would test that last important link in the system. Besides its operational tasks, Apollo 8 had some photographic assignments that would give flight planners additional information about potential landing sites and settle important questions about the use of landmarks to determine the spacecraft's position. Overlapping vertical and oblique photographs were taken to determine the elevation and geographical position of features on the far side, information needed for accurate determination of the lunar module's position before it descended for a landing. [see Chapter 6] The crew was also given a list of photographic targets of opportunity, selected from sites of scientific interest, to supplement the imagery from Lunar Orbiter IV. Although the photographic objectives were not completely fulfilled, the pictures returned by Apollo 8 added considerably to the store of knowledge about lunar surface features. 86 Equally valuable were the crew's visual observations of landmarks and potential landing sites. Their reports on the sharpness of landmarks, the ease of locating them, and the topographic details that could be seen from 60 nautical miles, reduced many of the uncertainties about what a lunar landing crew might be able to do by eye. Among other things, Borman's crew determined that lighting constraints (the allowable sun angle for optimum visibility) were on the conservative side; they found no difficulty in observing surface details at sun angles of 2 to 3 degrees, considerably less than the 6 degrees adopted as a lower limit. They reported that the maps and photographs they carried, together with last-minute instructions from the ground, were adequate for locating surface features. 87 The Apollo Decade Draws to a Close The Apollo 8 crew was still debriefing when 1969 came around, the last year of the decade set by John Kennedy for accomplishing the manned lunar landing and return. Early projections of the 1969 launch schedule called for five missions, spaced just over two months apart. 88 The progress made in 1968 suggested that most preparations for the first landing could be made sometime during the year. Of the major components of the Apollo system, only the lunar module remained to be checked out. For the most part, science had yielded to operations during the year. To provide some leeway for increases in the weight of the lunar module, and to avoid overtaxing the astronauts on a mission that still contained many unknowns, the lunar surface experiments had been simplified. The original "ALSEP" (Apollo lunar surface experiments package) had been reduced to an "EASEP" (early Apollo scientific experiments package). Enough suitable landing sites had been picked to provide alternatives in case of launch delays, increasing the chances of launching a mission during a given month's opportunity in spite of any technical problems that might halt the countdown before liftoff. But the sites were chosen for maximum probability of successful landing, not for their immediate scientific interest. Even so, no one would argue that whatever samples of lunar material the first astronauts were able to return would not be of extraordinary interest to scientists. But if science yielded to operational considerations, it received in return the assurance that missions after the second - perhaps after the first - would include as much science as the system could accommodate. The organizational mechanism was in place and functioning to assure that mission plans encom

158 passed scientific objectives as far as possible. If the first landing attempt should be successful, enough launch vehicles and spacecraft were in the pipeline to conduct nine more landings. Project officials at the Manned Spacecraft Center were ready to extend the duration of missions as much as the hardware would allow without major redesign and were urging Headquarters to start work on mobility aids, to extend the range an astronaut could cover on the moon. As soon as they had the operational experience to justify it, MSC managers were willing to do more than merely land a human on the moon and return him safely to earth

159 Notes 1. Courtney G. Brooks, James M. Grimwood, and Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., Chariots for Apollo: A History of Manned Lunar Spacecraft, NASA SP-4205 (Washington, 1979), pp , Ibid., pp Ibid., pp ; Roger E. Bilstein, Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo/Saturn Launch Vehicles, NASA SP-4206 (Washington, 1980), pp Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, p Leonard Reiffel to Gen. S. C. Phillips, "Flight Schedule for ALSEP and Related Matters," June 10, Donald K. Slayton to Dir., Science and Applications (MSC), "Apollo Lunar Surface Operations Planning," Feb. 28, Verl R. Wilmarth, "Summary Minutes, Planetology Subcommittee of the Space Science and Applications Steering Committee (Meeting No. 3-FY68), May 15, 16, 17, 1968"; Edward M. Davin to Mgr., Apollo Surface Expts. Program, "Contingency Science Payloads," July 3, 1968; Richard J. Green to MSC, attn.: John W. Small, "Science Payload Options," July 3, George E. Mueller to Robert R. Gilruth, June 5, 1968; Gilruth to Mueller, June 27, Phillips to Dr. Charles H. Townes, Aug. 31, 1968, with encl., letter to members of OMSF Science and Technology Advisory Committee, same date. 10. George M. Low to G. W. S. Abbey, "Lunar Mission Planning," Sept. 3, 1968; Wilmot N. Hess to Mgr., Apollo Spacecraft Program (MSC), "Changes in Mission G Plans," Sept. 4, Hess to Dir. (MSC), "Contingency Apollo Science Program," Sept. 30, 1968, with encl., "Contingency Apollo Science Program Implementation Plan" (preliminary), Sept. 27, 1968; idem, "Plans for Alternate Science Program on First Apollo Lunar Landing," Oct. 4, Mueller, TWX to MSC attn.: Robert R. Gilruth, Nov. 5, A. E. Morse, Jr., to Mgr., Apollo program, "KSC support for the LM-5 Early Apollo Scientific Experiment Payload (EASEP)," Nov. 12, 1968; Phillips to Gilruth, Nov. 15, Phillips to Gilruth, Nov. 15, Phillips, TWX to MSC attn.: G. M. Low, W. N. Hess, "Experiment Assignments to Lunar Missions," Dec. 5, Wilmarth, "Summary Minutes."

160 17. Gilruth to Hqs., attn.: E. Taylor, TWX, "OSSA Activities-Weekly Report," Oct. 24, MSC, "Lunar Receiving Laboratory Briefing," transcript of presentation, June 29, 1967; MSC, "Annual Report for Calendar Year 1967, The Directorate of Medical Research and Operations, Manned Spacecraft Center," n.d. [Dec. 1967]. 19. Edgar M. Cortright to Gilruth, Mar. 27, 1968; Hess to Dir., Medical Research & Operations, "Initiation of monthly review meetings on LRL," Mar. 29, Hess to multiple addressees, "Preliminary Examination Team Simulation Tests and Full Scale LRL Simulation," Aug. 20, Gilruth to Charles W. Mathews, May 17, 1968; Minutes, Monthly LRL Reviews, June 10, July 1, Aug. 12, MSC, "Minutes of Monthly LRL Review," Sept. 16, 1968; John E. Pickering, "Trip Report [to LRL monthly manager's review]," Sept. 18, P. R. Bell to Martin Favero, June 18, 1968; "[Minutes,] Lunar Science Analysis Planning Team, July 26 [1968]"; Hess to multiple addressees, "Preliminary Examination Team Simulation Tests and Full Scale LRL Simulation," Aug. 20, Gilruth to Edward H. Levi (Univ. of Chicago), Feb. 25, Bell to Members of Preliminary Examination Team, "The Preliminary Examination Team simulation and training session, October 22 through November 1, 1968," Oct. 16, Test dir., vacuum laboratory, "Report on PET Simulation, October 25-30, 1968," Oct. 31, 1968; Bell to Dir., Science and Applications, "LRL Equipment and System Problems," Nov. 7, Hess to L. R. Scherer, "Changes in the Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Dec. 6, 1968; Hess to LRL Staff, "Configuration Control Board (CCB)," Dec. 6, Gilruth to multiple addressees, "Operational Readiness Inspection of the Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Oct. 21, Peter J. Armitage to multiple addressees: "Minutes of the First ORI Committee Meeting for the Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Nov. 5, 1968; "Minutes of the Second ORI Committee Meeting for the Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Nov. 22, 1968; "Minutes of the Third ORI Committee Meeting for the Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Dec. 4, 1968; "Minutes of the Fourth ORI Committee Meeting for the Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Dec. 4, 1968; "Status of the Operational Readiness Inspection on the Lunar Receiving Laboratory and the Recovery Quarantine Equipment," Dec. 19, 1968; "Minutes of the Fifth ORI Committee Meeting for the Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Dec. 23, Armitage, "Final Report, Operational Readiness Inspection of the Lunar Receiving Laboratory and Recovery Quarantine Equipment," May 7,

161 31. John E. Pickering, "Minutes, Interagency Committee on Back Contamination, 8-9 Feb " 32. Idem, "Minutes, Interagency Committee on Back Contamination, 11 June 1968." 33. Idem, "Minutes, Interagency Committee on Back Contamination, Oct " 34. Richard S. Johnston to C. C. Kraft, M. A. Faget, and C. A. Berry, "Apollo Back Contamination," Nov. 8, Johnston to multiple addressees, "Back-Contamination program review," Jan. 16, 1969; "ICBC Meeting at MSC on March 28 and 19," Mar. 18, Gilruth to Maj. Gen. J. W. Humphreys, Jr., Mar. 19, Pickering, "Minutes, Interagency Committee on Back Contamination, March 1969." 38. David J. Sencer to Thomas O. Paine, Apr. 7, S. C. Phillips, TWX to MSC, attn.: G. M. Low, "Biological containment on 'G' mission prior to entry into MQF," Apr. 10, Ibid.; Low to multiple addressees, "Apollo Back Contamination Action Items," Apr. 14, 1969; Low to Phillips, "Apollo Back Contamination Action Status," Apr. 15, Low to Phillips, "Transmittal of Summary Report and Actions from Back Contamination LDX Conference Held April 21, 1969," Apr. 24, 1969, with encl., Low to Multiple Addressees, "Back Contamination LDX Conference held April 21, 1969, Between MSC/NASA Headquarters; minutes and action items," Apr. 24, MSC Announcement 69-60, "Lunar Receiving Laboratory Operations," May 1, Johnston, draft of MSC position paper on Apollo back contamination program, Apr. 25, Pickering, "Minutes, Interagency Committee on Back Contamination, 2 May 1969." 45. Phillips to Gilruth, "Lunar Receiving Laboratory Readiness Review," Jan. 16, 1969; Gilruth to Phillips, Jan. 29, 1969, with tentative agenda for proposed review. 46. Mueller to Gilruth, Jan. 13, 1969; Gilruth to Mueller, Feb. 8, A. B. Park to Pickering, Mar. 7, 1969, with encl., "Report by U.S. Department of Agriculture Team on Lunar Receiving Laboratory Evaluation for Quarantine Requirements," n.d.; Howard H. Eckels to Pickering, Mar. 11, 1969, with encl., "Department of Interior Observations on the Lunar Receiving Laboratory Procedures Relative to Invertebrate and Fish Species, February 12, 13, and 14, 1969"; idem, Feb. 27, 1969, with encl., Kenneth E. Wolf to Eckles, "Technical Review of Lunar Receiving Laboratory," Feb. 25, 1969; Pickering to Dir., Apollo Program, "LRL Bioprotocol Readiness Review

162 and Certification Procedures," Feb. 24, MSC, "Lunar Receiving Laboratory Simulation Plan, March 3-April 16, 1969," n.d., pp Rudy Trabanino to LTD's [Laboratory Test Directors], "Debriefing of Laboratory Personnel," Mar. 16, 1969; D. White to LTD's, "Critique of 3-13 March Simulation in Vacuum Laboratory - Shift I," Mar. 16, 1969; T. McPherson to LTD's, "Vacuum Laboratory Critique - Second Shift," Mar. 16, 1969; Trabanino to LTD's, "Critical Vacuum Laboratory Problems," Mar. 21, 1969; O. A. Schaeffer and J. G. Funkhauser to Bryan Erb, "Leak Checking of RCL Containers with Gas Analysis System," Mar. 24, 1969; Bell to Deputy Mgr., LRL, "Problems Identified in February and March LRL simulations," Mar. 27, 1969; H. C. Sweet and Charles H. Walkinsbau, Jr., "Summary of Simulation of Botanical Protocol - March 1969," n.d. [Mar. 1969]; "Minutes, Interagency Committee on Back Contamination, March 1969-Manned Spacecraft Center - Houston, Texas," Mar. 29, 1969; Trabanino, "Critical Vacuum Laboratory Problems," Apr. 3, Hess to Bell, "Organic Contamination of F201," Apr. 8, Johnston to multiple addressees, "Action items from Interagency Committee on Back Contamination (ICBC) Meeting," May 5, 1969; Gilruth to multiple addressees, "Establishment of Apollo Back Contamination Control Panel," May 8, 1969; Johnston to Chief, Crew Systems Div., and Chief, Flight Crew Support Div., "Lunar Module Back Contamination Simulation," May 12, 1969; Johnston to Col. John E. Pickering, May 14, 1969; Johnston to multiple addressees, "Action Items from Interagency Committee on Back Contamination (ICBC) Meeting, May 2, 1969," May 15, 1969; idem, "ICBC Telephone Conference Summary and Action Items," May 21, 1969; MSC, "Back Contamination Mission Rules (Recovery to Receiving Lab)," MSC 00005, May 21, 1969; Low to multiple addressees, "Back Contamination Procedures," May 20, 1969; Robert E. Smylie to Mgr., Apollo Spacecraft Program, "Back Contamination Procedures," May 22, 1969; Johnston to multiple addressees, "Apollo Back Contamination Simulation Meeting Summary," May 23, 1969; idem, "Back Contamination Action Items," May 28, Mueller to Administrator, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," June 9, Johnston to multiple addressees, "Apollo Back Contamination Simulation Meeting Summary," May 23, Sencer to Paine, Apr. 7, W. David Compton and Charles D. Benson, Living and Working in Space: A History of Skylab, NASA SP-4208 (Washington, 1983), pp Hess to MSC Dir., "Summary OSSA Senior Council Meeting," Apr. 30, 1968; Hess to John E. Naugle, "Staffing of the LRL," June 6, 1968; Naugle to Hess, same sub., July 9, 1968; M. L. Raines to Assoc. Dir., "Systems and Support Contractor Reduction," July 12, 1968; MSC, "Minutes of Monthly LRL Review, September 16, 1968"; Earle B. Young to LRL ORI Committee, "Proposed LRL Staffing," Nov. 26, 1968; P. R. Bell to Dir., Science and Applications, "Staffing Plan for the Lunar and Receiving Laboratory," Jan. 17, 1969; Wesley L. Hjornevik to Lt. Gen. Frank A. Bogart, "Lunar Re

163 ceiving Laboratory Staffing," Jan.27, 1969; MSC, "LRL Staffing Plan Status, April 8, 1969, Science & Applications Directorate and Medical Research & Operations Directorate." 57. John D. Stevenson, TWX to multiple addressees, "MSF mission operations forecast for January 1969," Jan. 3, 1969; Gilruth to Stevenson, "Ability to support launch schedule for CY 1969," Mar. 4, Bell to Dir., Science and Applications, "Staffing plan for the Lunar and Receiving Laboratory," Jan. 17, W. W. Kemmerer, Jr., to all LRL personnel, "Initiation of mission operating conditions for the Sample Laboratory secondary biological barrier," June 3, Johnston to all NASA LRL personnel, "Lunar Receiving Laboratory Apollo 11 Task Group," June 4, MSC, "Lunar Landing Site Selection Briefing, Compilation of Presentation Material," Mar. 8, 1967; John E. Eggleston to Dir., Science and Applications, "Trip report - Apollo Site Selection Board Meeting; Surveyor/Orbiter Utilization Committee Meeting," Apr. 3, 1967; Owen E. Maynard to Mgr., Apollo Spacecraft Program Office, "Trip report - Apollo Site Selection Board and Surveyor/Orbiter Utilization Committee Meetings," Apr. 20, Low to Hqs., attn. Dr. James A. Turnock, "Selection of Lunar Landing Sites for First Lunar Landing Mission," Sept. 3, Phillips to multiple addressees, "Minutes of the Apollo Site Selection Board meeting of December 15, 1967," Jan. 29, 1968; MSC, "Apollo Site Selection Board Briefing, Compilation of Presentation Material," Dec. 15, Ibid. 65. Ibid. 66. Compton and Benson, Living and Working in Space, p. 87; Robert C. Seamans, Jr., to Mueller, "Termination of the Lunar Mapping and Survey System," July 25, 1967; U.S., Congress, House, Subcommittee on Manned Space Flight of the Committee on Science and Astronautics, 1968 NASA Authorization, Hearings on H.R. 4450, H.R. 6470, 90/1, pt. 2, pp , ; idem, 1969 NASA Authorization, Hearings on H.R , 90/2, pt. 2, p Phillips to Gilruth, "Lunar Photog ch8-5.html: 68. John R. Brinkmann to Chief, Syst. Eng. Div., "Lunar photography from the CSM," May 13, 1968; Warren J. North to Chief, Syst. Eng. Div., same subj., May 15, MSC, "MSC Lunar Scientific Exploration Plan," Apr. 14,

164 70. Hess to multiple addressees, "Pre-GLEP meeting January 10 in Washington, D.C.," Jan. 3, NASA Hqs., "The Plan or Lunar Exploration," Feb Ibid. 73. Ibid. 74. Gilruth to Mueller, Mar. 4, Gilruth to Mueller, Apr. 1, House, Subcommittee on Manned Space Flight of the Committee on Science and Astronautics, 1969 NASA, Authorization, Hearings on H.R , 90/2, pt. 2, pp The same plan was presented by John E. Naugle to the subcommittee on science and applications, also without stimulating discussion; see idem, Subcommittee on Space Science and Applications of the Committee on Science and Astronautics, 1969 NASA Authorization, Hearings on H.R , 90/2, pt. 3, pp Andre J. Meyer, Jr., "Minutes of the Lunar Mission Planning Board," Feb. 13, Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp Compton and Benson, Living and Working in Space, pp Phillips, "Minutes of the Apollo Site Selection Board Meeting of March 26, 1968," May 6, Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp Ibid., pp , Ibid. 84. Ibid., pp MSC PA-R-69-1, "Apollo 8 Mission Report," Feb. 1969, p Ibid., pp. 4-1 to Ibid., pp. 4-8 to 4-9, 7-19 to John D. Stevenson, TWX, "MSF Mission Operations Forecast for January 1969," Jan. 3,

165 9 PRIMARY MISSION ACCOMPLISHED Crew Activities, Crews for the early Apollo manned missions were named in 1966, but their assignments were canceled after the spacecraft fire in January Mission-specific training languished for a while, but in early May 1967 the crew of Apollo 7 was selected and began preparing for their earth-orbital mission. Deke Slayton, director of flight crew operations at MSC, expedited training by assigning a third group of astronauts (a support crew) to each flight. [see Appendix 6] The support crew assisted the prime and backup crews in training, doing a great deal of necessary but time-consuming work: maintaining the flight data file (flight plan, check lists, and mission ground rules); keeping the prime and backup crews advised of all changes; helping training officers to work out procedures on the simulators before the prime crews used them; and generally taking a load of details off the prime and backup crews. 1 Experience and seniority appeared to be the major factors in Slayton's choice of crews. For the first three missions, prime and backup crews were chosen from the first three groups of pilots selected; all commanders had flight experience in Gemini. Support crewmen were all from the fourth group of pilots. 2 The scientist-astronauts, who ranked fourth in seniority but last in experience, had varied assignments, participating in design reviews and preflight tests and working on plans for Apollo Applications experiments; geologist Jack Schmitt spent much of his time working on site selection. 3 A Second Group of Scientist-Astronauts George Mueller was making ambitious projections for the Apollo Applications Program in 1966, and if they developed, more scientists would be needed for its crews. In September 1966 the National Academy of Sciences and NASA announced that applications for a second group of scientist-astronauts would be accepted. [see Chapter 5] Nearly a thousand hopefuls applied; the Academy's selection com

166 mittee forwarded 69 names to NASA in March 1967, and five months later 11 new astronaut trainees, 9 Ph.D.s and 2 M.D.s, were named. [see Appendix 6] The group contained not a single qualified pilot; after six months of orientation and basic "ground school" training at MSC, they would all be sent to Air Force flight training. 4 Addition of this class of candidates brought the astronaut corps to a strength of 56 - more than Apollo seemed to need, since no more than 10 lunar missions were contemplated.* The qualifications of the new group - who were mostly physicists, astronomers, or physicians, not earth scientists - suggests that MSC was preparing for Apollo Applications missions rather than lunar exploration. When they were chosen in mid-1967, however, even that prospect was growing dim and would be dimmer yet by the time they had finished flight training. Headquarters program officials continued to talk of frequent Apollo Applications missions, 5 and Slayton had to be prepared to supply crews for whatever missions should be assigned and to anticipate some degree of attrition. On the other hand, if the program did not materialize as planned, the astronaut corps would be overstaffed and many aspiring space explorers would have small chance of flying in space. That could be an especially touchy point with scientists, who risked their careers by enlisting as astronauts.** In interviews with the scientist applicants, Slayton tried not to raise their expectations about the availability of flight assignments, to the point of frankly admitting that the astronaut corps had no urgent need for them at the moment. With that understanding, however, they were welcome in Houston, because the astronaut corps needed all kinds of talent to support MSC's missions. 6 Members of the new group soon dubbed themselves "The Excess Eleven," or "XSXI." Crew Training and Flight Operations Crews for both Apollo 9 and Apollo 10 were in training as 1969 began; on January 9 a third was named, for Apollo 11. Since November 1967 the prime crew of Apollo 9 - James A. McDivitt, David R. Scott, and Russell L. Schweickart - had been following their spacecraft through assembly and rehearsing the complex procedures of orbital rendezvous. Both McDivitt (who came in with the second group of astronauts) and Scott were veterans, each having flown a Gemini mission that had paved the way for rendezvous and docking operations. Schweickart, like Scott, was a "Fourteen" (third group); he had not yet flown a mission but had participated extensively in the development testing of the space suit. The crew of Apollo 10, named on November 12, 1968, was the first in the entire manned space flight program composed entirely of experienced astronauts: Thomas P. Stafford, John W. Young, and Eugene A. Cernan. Stafford, the first of his class to fly two orbital missions, and Young, who had also flown twice, were from the second astronaut class; Cernan, from the third group, had a single flight. They were also the first crew to be promoted as a unit, having served as backup crew on Apollo 7. The crew for Apollo 11, also all veterans, consisted of Neil A. Armstrong from the second group and Edwin E. ("Buzz") Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Collins from the third. Armstrong and Aldrin had been on the * Given Slayton's system of promoting a backup crew to prime crew three missions later, and assuming that no crewman would be assigned to more than one mission in any capacity, 10 lunar missions would have required 55 astronauts (if support crews later became backup and prime crews). Slayton's preference for flight experience in crew members, however, makes that assumption questionable; hence fewer astronauts could have filled the positions on prime, backup, and support crews. On the 7 lunar landing missions flown, 39 astronauts filled 63 available crew positions. ** So did the pilot-astronauts, for that matter, but provision was made for them to keep their professional skills (flying) well honed as part of the program. The scientists enjoyed no such concession, as was repeatedly pointed out by NASA's outside scientific consultants

167 backup crew for Apollo 8; the third member of that crew, Fred W. Haise, was replaced by Collins on the flight crew because Deke Slayton wanted an experienced pilot in the command module for Apollo 11, which, if all went well, would most likely be the first mission to attempt a lunar landing. 7 The success of Apollo 8 left only the qualification of the lunar module to be accomplished before a lunar landing could be attempted. In the alphabetical sequence of missions adopted a year before, [see Chapter 7] the next mission ("D") was to fly both the command/service module and the lunar module, to check out all LM systems and rendezvous techniques in earth orbit. This, according to 1967 plans, would be followed by missions "E" (combined CSM/LM operations in high earth orbit, later discarded in favor of the "C-prime" mission, Apollo 8, which did not carry a lunar module) and "F" (all operational procedures of a landing mission except the actual landing). On the "F" mission the crew would take the lunar module down to 50,000 feet (15,240 meters) above the moon, get as good a look as possible at the proposed landing site for the first mission, and return to lunar orbit for rendezvous with the command module. 8 Mission "D" (Apollo 9) would be the most complex yet flown, involving the checkout of two spacecraft at the Cape and simultaneous operations with two vehicles in orbit. An additional objective was operational checkout of the extra-vehicular space suit and the portable life-support system that lunar explorers would use on the moon's surface. 9 Apollo 9 was launched on March 3, 1969, for 10 busy days of operations. After extracting their lunar module from the S-IVB stage, McDivitt and his crewmates performed numerous tests of the engines on both modules, assessing the dynamic behavior of the linked spacecraft as well as the performance of the propulsion systems. On the third day they separated the vehicles and began independent operations, testing the LM systems, and carrying out a complete docking maneuver, all successfully. Schweickart's tests of the extravehicular space suit and lifesupport system were equally gratifying. The most serious anomaly on the flight was the appearance of motion sickness, which had also affected Apollo 8's crew. Schweickart vomited twice and Scott reported being on the verge of nausea for considerable time after reaching orbit. Some tasks had to be cut short on this account, but even so, all the primary mission objectives were satisfied. The Apollo 9 command module came down on March 13 within three miles (4.8 kilometers) of the target point in the western Atlantic. 10 Two months later, launch operations crews at Kennedy Space Center were getting ready for the final countdown for Saturn no. 505, the launch vehicle for Apollo 10. This mission was to "confirm all aspects of the lunar landing mission exactly as it would be performed, except for the actual descent, landing, lunar stay, and ascent from the lunar surface." Besides giving the entire mission support team one more workout, it would also allow the manned space flight network to track the spacecraft as it orbited the moon, to provide a more accurate description of the irregular lunar gravitational field.* 11 On May 18, the big booster sent CSM 106 and lunar module LM4, with Tom Stafford and his crew aboard, toward the moon on a near-perfect trajectory - one designed to duplicate the path to be taken by * Analysis of irregularities in the orbits of Lunar Orbiter IV had revealed gravity anomalies attributed to concentrations of mass ("mascons") at certain locations on the moon; they were sufficiently large to deflect the path of a lunar module. Results from Apollo 10 would be helpful in developing the capability to land precisely at a targeted spot, which mission planners considered essential for the later missions

168 the first landing mission. Indicative of the pace of the program in early 1969, even before Apollo 10 reached the moon, Cape crews trundled out Saturn 506, the Apollo 11 launch vehicle, to Launch Complex 39A and began preparing it for its epoch-making flight. 12 Stafford, Cernan, and Young carried out their pathfinding mission with remarkably few problems, On the fifth day the lunar module separated from the command module to photograph the approach path, verify the operation of the landing radar, and survey the first landing site** from low altitude. They reported that the landing radar worked as advertised and that the first astronauts to attempt a lunar landing should have no problems finding a smooth level spot in the eastern end of the site; farther west, however, they might have to maneuver to find a boulder- and crater-free area to touch down. That evaluation completed, Stafford and Cernan took their lunar module back into orbit, checking out the abort guidance system as they left low orbit. After rejoining John Young in the command module they headed back to earth, splashing down on May 26 in the Pacific Ocean some 400 miles (650 kilometers) east of Pago Pago. 13 Apollo 11 Crew Makes Ready As backup crew for Apollo 8 since late 1968, the prime crew of Apollo 11 had already rehearsed many of the procedures for a lunar mission; but as the first crew that would attempt a lunar landing, they had to prepare for much more. From January 9, when they were named, until launch day their days were filled with activity: briefings on all the spacecraft systems, fitting of spacesuits, lessons in geology and astronavigation, rehearsal of procedures for rendezvous, practicing unloading the lunar surface experiments, and whatever else the training officers could squeeze into their schedule. For some time they had little access to their primary training devices, the lunar module and command module simulators. Until March, when Apollo 9 flew, they were third in line for those simulators, and only after Apollo 10 was launched in May did they have first priority. 14 For Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and their counterparts in the backup crew, practicing the lunar landing itself was among the most important parts of training. The lunar module pilots used a simulator built for the purpose by engineers at Langley Research Center in Virginia. It consisted of a mockup of the lunar module, suspended by cables from a long overhead trestle so that all but one-sixth of its weight was neutralized. Since it did not provide complete freedom of movement in all three directions, the Langley device was inferior as a lunar-module simulator to the vehicle on which the mission commanders trained. 15 This free-flying lunar landing training vehicle (LLTV), developed at the Flight Research Center in California and built by Bell Aerosystems, was a skeleton framework of tubing supporting a control station, fitted in the center with a downward-thrusting jet engine to offset five-sixths of its weight and on the periphery of the structure with a group of small thrusters to provide attitude and directional control. It was a skittish and somewhat unstable vehicle; on two occasions in 1968 pilots had to eject from it. 16 Nonetheless, it was the only device that could accurately simulate the last few hundred feet of the lunar landing approach and commanders of lunar landing missions and their backups were required to perform as many landings in the LLTV as time permitted. 17 ** Site II P-6, [see Chapter 8] just north of the equator in the southwestern part of Mare Tranquillitatis

169 The crews went through many rehearsals of the lunar surface activity - deploying the experiments and collecting surface samples - during the last few months of training, but they were given comparatively little refresher work in field geology. The last formal geology briefings for the Apollo 11 crew came in mid-april. 18 As launch came closer, Armstrong became concerned about collecting samples and making scientific observations. When he expressed his fear that he might do something wrong, MSC geologist Elbert King emphasized that everything he said and every specimen he collected would be valuable, simply because he would be the first man ever to make scientific observations on the lunar surface. King's advice was not to worry about making mistakes. If he talked as much as possible about what he saw and collected all the samples he could, no reasonable scientist could fault his efforts. 19 By the time the Apollo 10 crew left on their mission and the crew of Apollo 11 could get first priority on the simulators, training had become the "pacing item" in the launch schedule. 20 Throughout May and June the spacecraft and its launch vehicle went through preflight preparations with no major problems, staying on schedule for a July 16 launch, while crews spent long hours in the simulators. 21 When the White House proffered an invitation for the Apollo 10 and Apollo 11 crews to dine with the President, Deke Slayton was obliged to notify Headquarters that taking one day out of the training regimen was likely to cost a month's delay in launch. 22 On June 9 the photomosaics of their landing site were delivered to the Cape so that Armstrong and Aldrin could practice the approach to their touchdown point in the lunar module simulator. 23 Armstrong completed his required flights in the lunar landing training vehicle on June The final days wound down without major interruption, however. The Lunar Receiving Laboratory was certified by the Interagency Committee on Back Contamination, two mobile quarantine facilities - including a spare, just in case - were delivered to the recovery ship, and it appeared that humans would indeed attempt a lunar landing as scheduled. 25 The First Lunar Explorers At 9:32 a.m. Eastern daylight time on July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 left Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center, bound for the moon. Four days later, at 4:18 p.m. EDT on July 20, Neil Armstrong skilfully set the lunar module Eagle down in the Sea of Tranquility and reported, "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." 26 For the next 10 minutes Armstrong and Aldrin were occupied with several post-landing procedures, reconfiguring switches and systems. Armstrong found time to report to Mission Control what he had been too busy to tell them during the landing: that he had manually flown the lunar module over the rockstrewn crater where the automatic landing system was taking it. Then he made his first quick-look science report: We'll get to the details of what's around here, but it looks like a collection of just about every variety of shape, angularity, granularity, about every variety of rock you could find.... There doesn't appear to be too much of a general color at all. However, it looks as though some of the rocks and boulders, of which there are quite a few in the near area, it looks as though they're going to have some interesting colors to them After giving Houston as many clues as he could to the location of their module, he added some more description:

170 The area out the left-hand window is a relatively level plain cratered with a fairly large number of craters of the 5- to 50-foot variety, and some ridges - small, 20, 30 feet high, I would guess, and literally thousands of little 1- and 2-foot craters around the area. We see some angular blocks out several hundred feet in front of us that are probably 2 feet in size and have angular edges. There is a hill in view, just about on the ground track ahead of us. Difficult to estimate, but might be half a mile or a mile. 28 Armstrong and Aldrin then started preparing their spacecraft for takeoff, setting up critical systems to be ready in case something happened and they had to leave the lunar surface quickly. A short break in this activity gave Armstrong a chance to pass along more information about the landing site:... The local surface is very comparable to that we observed from orbit at this sun angle, about 10 degrees sun angle, or that nature. It's pretty much without color. It's... a very white, chalky gray, as you look into the zero-phase line [directly toward the sun]; and it's considerably darker gray, more like... ashen gray as you look out 90 degrees to the sun. Some of the surface rocks in close here that have been fractured or disturbed by the rocket engine plume are coated with this light gray on the outside; but where they've been broken, they display a dark, very dark gray interior; and it looks like it could be country basalt. 29 Setting up the spacecraft systems took another hour and a half to complete; then they were ready to get out and explore. The flight plan called for them to eat and then rest for four hours, but Aldrin called Mission Control to recommend starting their surface exploration in about three hours' time. Houston concurred. 30 Although they had been awake almost 11 hours and had gone through some stressful moments during the landing,* it seemed too much to expect the first men on the moon to take a nap before they made history. While Armstrong and Aldrin tended to their postlanding chores, Mike Collins, orbiting 60 nautical miles (112 kilometers) overhead in the command module Columbia, had little to do. Houston enlisted his aid in an attempt to locate Eagle, giving him the best map coordinates they could derive from the sketchy information available. With his navigational sextant Collins scanned several spots, without success; Columbia passed over the landing site too rapidly to allow him to search the area thoroughly and he never found the lunar module. 31 Determination of its exact location had to wait for postmission analysis of Armstrong's descriptions of the area and examination of the spacecraft's landing trajectory. Getting ready to leave the lunar module took longer than the crew had anticipated. It was after 9:30 p.m. in Houston, an hour and a half later than they had hoped, when they opened the hatch. Armstrong carefully worked his way out onto the "porch," then climbed down the ladder, pausing on the lowest rung to comment on the texture of the surface and the depth to which the footpads had penetrated. At 9:56 p.m. he stepped onto the moon's surface, proclaiming, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" - inadvertently omitting an "a" before "man" and slightly changing the meaning he intended to convey. 32 * While Armstrong was maneuvering to avoid a boulder field, alarms sounded in the lunar module indicating that the computer was overloaded. Mission Control quickly told the crew to proceed. Then, as fuel was running low, a dust cloud obscured the surface and Armstrong had to touch down without a good view of his landing spot

171 Armstrong made a cursory inspection of the lunar module and reported his reactions to the new environment. Aldrin then lowered a camera on the lunar equipment carrier - a clothesline and pulley arrangement that seemed out of place in the high-technology environment of Apollo - which Armstrong immediately began using. Mission Control reminded him to scoop up the contingency sample, which he did. "I'll try to get a rock in here. Just a couple." He noted that the collecting tool met resistance after penetrating a short distance into the surface material. He then stowed the sample in a bag that he tucked into a pocket of his suit. To the scientists on earth he remarked, "Be advised that a lot of the rock samples out here, the hard rock samples, have what appear to be vesicles in the surface. Also, I am looking at one now that appears to have some sort of phenocryst."** 33 Aldrin then joined Armstrong on the surface, and they spent the next several minutes inspecting the landing craft and reporting on its condition, adjusting to the low lunar gravity and trying various ways of getting around on the surface. After a brief commemorative ceremony (reading the plaque attached to the lunar module) and a short conversation with President Richard Nixon, they began unloading and emplacing the scientific instruments and collecting samples. They supplemented earth's limited television view of their activities with descriptions of what they were seeing and doing. On a couple of occasions they acted like field geologists. Aldrin reported that he saw a rock that sparkled "like some kind of biotite," but he "would leave that to further analysis."*** After closely examining some rounded boulders near the spacecraft, Armstrong said they looked "like basalt, and they have probably two percent white minerals in them.... And the thing that I reported as vesicular before, I don't believe that any more.... they look like little impact craters where BB shot has hit the surface." 34 The geologists in Houston watching this surface activity on television were quite pleased with the astronauts' performance. At one point Armstrong disappeared from the field of view of the TV camera, causing some momentary anxiety at his apparent departure from the plan. It turned out that some unusual rocks had attracted his attention and he had gone off a few meters to collect them. That was exactly the kind of thing the geologists had hoped people on the moon would do. 35 By the time the crew had taken two core samples, again experiencing difficulty in driving a sampling tool into the surface, and filled their sample return containers, Houston notified them that it was time to wind up their activity. Just before midnight CapCom**** Bruce McCandless told Aldrin to "head on up the ladder," and at 12:11 a.m. Houston time both men and their samples were back in the lunar module and the hatch was sealed. 36 Humanity's first excursion on the surface of another celestial body had lasted 2 hours, 31 minutes, and 40 seconds. ** That is, the rocks had surface pits resembling those caused by the escape of gases from molten material (which could indicate a volcanic origin), and one seemed to have a prominent embedded crystal. *** This comment drew criticism from some scientists on the ground that biotite (a mica-like mineral) could not have formed on the moon. The criticism was unwarranted, because Aldrin had not said that it was biotite, but that it looked like biotite he had seen on field trips; the criticism was mildly detrimental, because it made the next crew more reluctant to use technical terminology, with which some of the astronauts felt uncomfortable anyway, in describing what they saw. H. H. Schmitt interview, May 30, **** The "Capsule Communicator" - a term left over from the Mercury days when spacecraft were called "capsules" - normally was the only person who talked to crews in space over the radio circuit. All CapComs were astronauts, most often astronauts who had not yet flown. Appendix 6 lists CapCom assignments for all Apollo flights

172 Back inside the lunar module, Armstrong and Aldrin removed their lunar surface suits and portable life-support systems and used up their remaining film. Houston passed up some more instructions in preparation for liftoff and tentatively signed off for the night, but before long CapCom Owen Garriott, who had relieved McCandless, came on the line with some questions from the scientists about the nature of the surface and the problems in driving sampling tools into the surface. Three hours after they returned to the lunar module, the lunar explorers finally were able to turn in for a few hours of fitful sleep. 37 Next morning Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins spent most of their time setting up Eagle and Columbia for liftoff and rendezvous. Before the lunar module left the moon, however, Armstrong gave Mission Control a detailed description of the landing approach path and landing area, in the hope of helping scientists locate their exact landing spot, and summarized the characteristics of the soil and rocks around the area. 38 Liftoff and rendezvous went smoothly. When the two spacecraft were locked together Collins cracked Columbia's oxygen supply valve and Aldrin opened the lunar module's vent valve, to create a gas flow into the LM when the hatches were opened - part of the procedure to minimize back-contaminationwhile Aldrin and Armstrong vacuumed the lunar dust from their suits as best they could. Their vacuum cleaner, a brush attached to the exhaust hose of the LM suit system, was not very powerful and the tenacious dust came off only with difficulty. There was not nearly as much loose dust in the lunar module as they had expected when they returned from the surface; evidently it stuck tightly to whatever it touched. 39 They passed the rock boxes and other items over to Collins and then clambered into the command module, where they removed their suits and stowed them in the bags provided. After jettisoning the lunar module and straightening up the command module, the three astronauts settled in for an uneventful trip back to earth. 40 In the early morning hours of July 24, 8 days, 3 hours, 18 minutes, and 18 seconds after leaving Kennedy Space Center, Columbia plopped down into the Pacific Ocean about 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) south of Johnston Island. Recovery crews from the U.S.S. Hornet arrived quickly and tossed the biological isolation garments into the spacecraft. After the cocooned astronauts emerged from the spacecraft the swimmers swabbed the hatch down with Betadine (an organic iodine solution); then astronauts and recovery personnel decontaminated each other's protective garments with sodium hypochlorite solution. The biological isolation garments were not uncomfortable in the recovery raft, but aboard the helicopter they began accumulating heat. Both Collins and Armstrong felt that they were approaching the limit of their tolerance by the time they reached the ship. 41 An hour after splashdown they were inside the mobile quarantine facility. As soon as they had changed into clean flight suits, the astronauts went to the large window at the rear end of the mobile quarantine facility to accept the nation's congratulations from President Nixon, who had flown out to the Hornet to meet them. 42 Meanwhile, recovery crews brought Columbia on board and connected it to the astronauts' temporary home by means of a plastic tunnel. Through this, the film magazines and sample return containers were taken into the quarantine trailer, then passed out through a decontamination lock. Sample return container no. 2, holding the documented sample, was packed in a shipping container along with film magazines and tape recorders and flown to Johnston Island, where it was immediately loaded aboard a C-141 aircraft and dispatched to Ellington Air Force Base near MSC. Six and a half hours later the other sample return container was flown to Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, and thence to Houston

173 Scientific Work Begins The first sample container arrived in Houston late in the morning on July 25 and was delivered to the receiving laboratory shortly before noon. 44 The second arrived from Hawaii that afternoon. 45 For the next few weeks the laboratory was the center of more public attention, probably, than had been focused on any scientific installation in this century. As they had done since the Ranger project and would continue to do throughout the space science program, reporters pressed the scientists for interpretations of their preliminary observations. Obviously any scientific conclusions would have to await detailed study; nonetheless, the scientists answered the journalists as best they could. One was reported to have characterized the result as "instant science," noting that "We have to look at the stuff and then walk into a news conference, where we should be fairly conservative and reserved... and we talk off the top of our heads, and we're bound to goof some." 46 After initial inspection the sealed sample return container was transferred to the vacuum laboratory and weighed (33 pounds, 6 ounces; kilograms). Film magazines were placed in an autoclave, to be exposed to a gaseous sterilant for several hours before being sent to the photographic laboratory for processing. 47 Technicians in the vacuum laboratory then started the container through the process of preliminary examination. Before admitting it to the vacuum system, they passed it through a two-step sterilization, first with ultraviolet light, then with peracetic acid (a liquid biocide), after which it was rinsed with sterile water and dried under nitrogen. Next it was passed through a vacuum lock into the main vacuum chamber. Opening the box was delayed for some hours when the pressure in the vacuum system could not be stabilized. Operators suspected a leak in one of the gloves through which the samples were handled, which was torn in several places. 48 By midafternoon the next day, however, the leak had not worsened and the scientists decided to proceed. At 3:45 p.m. on July 26, as geologists crowded around the observation port at the work station, the cover was removed from the sample return container. 49 The first glimpse of moon rocks was frustrating because they were covered with fine dust that obscured their surface characteristics. About all that visual observation revealed was that they were irregular in shape and angular, with slightly rounded edges. 50 In addition to the rocks and dust, the sample return container held a solar-wind collector* and two core tubes, with which Aldrin had obtained subsurface samples. These had been least exposed to contaminants from earth and would provide the "bioprime" sample, a 100-gram (3.5-ounce) portion of lunar soil that would be tested for its effects on a variety of living organisms. Core tubes and solar-wind collector were sealed in stainless-steel cans, sterilized, and transferred out of the vacuum laboratory. 51 The following week more preliminary data trickled out of the receiving laboratory as two teams of scientists (the lunar sample preliminary examination team, or "LSPET," and the lunar sample analysis planning team, or "LSAPT") got down to work. These groups would examine, characterize, photograph, and catalog the specimens and allocate samples to the 142 principal investigators. Working two shifts a day for a while, they determined how the larger rocks would be divided and which ones should be sectioned, basing their judgment on the requirements of the investigators and the availability of the * This was a sheet of aluminum foil that was set out at the start of the astronauts' lunar surface activity to trap particles of the solar wind. Dr. Johannes Geiss of the University of Berne, Switzerland, devised the experiment, which went on every mission; crews called it "the Swiss flag" because it was unfurled along with the Stars and Stripes

174 different types of samples. While many members of these teams were later involved in specific investigations, their purpose at this stage was to match samples with research projects to make most effective use of the samples. 52 On July 27 technicians removed a rock from the box for low-level radiation counting, dislodging much of the dust from its surface. Geologists immediately classified the specimen as igneous (formed by melting). 53 It might be a fragment of lava from a lunar volcanic flow or a rock produced by localized melting, such as might result from a large meteorite crashing into the moon. Careful visual examination disclosed numerous small pits on the surface, as Armstrong had noted during his excursion. The scientists tentatively identified three common minerals, feldspar, pyroxene, and olivine, as the major constituents of the samp1e. 54 Spectrographic analysis of a pinch of lunar dust indicated that the surface material from Tranquility Base was much like that analyzed two years earlier by Surveyor V.** Noteworthy characteristics of the sample included an abnormally high proportion of titanium and relatively small quantities of some volatile elements, which would be depleted in materials aggregated at high temperatures. Microscopic examination of the powdery material ("fines") showed that more than half of it was composed of tiny particles of glass - shiny spheres, rare dumbbell-shaped beads, and sharp, angular needles and fragments. 55 A few more tidbits emerged from the early work in the receiving laboratory, among them the facts that the samples contained very little carbon (no more than 12 parts per million) and that some of the rocks had lain undisturbed on the lunar surface for a million years or more. 56 Preliminary examination of samples and preparation of material for the investigators continued throughout August, aiming at distribution of experimental material as soon as the quarantine protocols were completed. For the first few days work in the laboratory went on as planned; some minor malfunctions in the waste disposal system briefly threatened to break the biological containment but were corrected without incident. 57 About the only potential equipment problem was the torn glove in the vacuum chamber. Since replacement was a time-consuming process, technicians jury-rigged a repair by slipping another glove over the damaged one and taping the two together. 58 But before the first week was out the gloves ruptured, exposing most of the samples in the system to the atmosphere and sending two technicians into quarantine. 59 Work in the vacuum laboratory was suspended while scientists and laboratory managers decided what to do. Problems with the vacuum system had been experienced during premission simulations [see Chapter 8] and provision had been made to fill the chamber with sterile nitrogen gas; that alternative was now adopted. 60 ** The inactive Surveyor V sat some 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) north-northwest of Tranquility Base. The last three Surveyors (V, VI, VII) carried instruments capable of identifying the major chemical elements making up the surface material,; see Surveyor: Program Results, NASA SP-184 (Washington, 1969), pp. v- vi, 7,

175 The Astronauts in Quarantine After the President and other celebrities departed, the U.S.S. Hornet continued steaming back to Hawaii, arriving at Pearl Harbor on the afternoon of July 26. The mobile quarantine facility with its five passengers* was hoisted off the ship onto a truck for transfer to Hickam Air Force Base a few miles away, pausing briefly to acknowledge the greetings of the mayor and several thousand citizens of Honolulu. At Hickam the trailer was loaded into a C-141 cargo aircraft, which departed immediately for Houston. 61 Just after midnight the big plane touched down at Ellington Air Force Base, where a large crowd awaited a glimpse of the astronauts. Three hours later the crew and their companions entered their living quarters at the lunar receiving laboratory, which would be their home for at least the next three weeks. 62 On hand to greet them were the support personnel who had entered the living quarters the week before: a clinical pathologist, five laboratory technicians, three stewards, photography specialist, Brown & Root-Northrop's logistic operations officer, and a representative of MSC's public affairs office. 63 After a day off to recuperate from the stresses of the preceding two weeks - since July 16 they had been cooped up in very close quarters - the crew began a week of intensive technical and medical debriefings. Periodic examinations and blood tests monitored the physiological effects of their flight and recovery, while the doctors kept a close watch for any signs of exotic infection. The living quarters were equipped for routine clinical tests, or even minor surgery; but if a life-threatening medical emergency arose, whether from recognizable or unfamiliar causes, the victim would be transferred out to a hospital regardless of any concern for back-contamination. 64 Although all three astronauts were veterans of prior missions, none had ever spent so much time in space, and post-mission activities had never been conducted under strict confinement. Thus quarantine quickly became oppressive, the more so because only meager provision had been made for recreation. An exercise room was available, as well as a Ping-Pong table, and they could read or watch television or talk by telephone to their families, but it was not like being at home. At the conclusion of the technical debriefing sessions, less than a week after they returned, they were called upon to comment on operations in the receiving laboratory. Armstrong was noncommittal, saying that so far it had been going "about as well as you can expect." Collins's less tolerant response was, "I want out." 65 Since no press conference with the astronauts was scheduled before quarantine was lifted, reporters' only source of information was a daily briefing by John McLeaish, the public affairs officer confined in the crew quarters. Once or twice a day McLeaish briefed the press pool through a glass wall in the conference room where the crew debriefings took place. Most of the time he had little to report: everyone inside was healthy, the astronauts were busy with debriefings or writing their pilot's reports, and otherwise nothing much was going on. 66 And so it remained for the duration of the three-week quarantine. * A physician, Dr. William R. Carpentier, and a technician, John Hirasaki, joined the crew in the quarantine trailer aboard the recovery ship and remained in quarantine with them

176 Public Interest in Lunar Samples While the laboratory teams worked two shifts a day to prepare the sample: for outside researchers, project managers were considering how to deal with a growing public curiosity about the first rocks returned from the moon. Even before Apollo 11 left the launch pad, requests for lunar specimens for display had begun to arrive at the Manned Spacecraft Center. When MSC scientists expressed concern at what these requests might lead to, Apollo project manager George Low asked Headquarters for help in developing a policy to deal with them. Low's principal concern was that NASA "would arouse the animosity of the scientists in this program by wholesale or capricious distribution of valuable lunar material for nonscientific purposes." Low considered it appropriate to prepare a few lunar specimens for touring exhibits at major museums in the United States and abroad, provided they were eventually returned to the lunar receiving laboratory for scientific use. He also expected to be asked for samples to be presented to various VIPs; this MSC was willing to do, provided the number and size of such samples could be kept quite small. MSC scientists were alarmed, however, by a White House proposal to present lunar samples to the heads of state of 120 countries. 67 Apollo program director Sam Phillips replied that his office was accountable for the spacecraft and all hardware items that had gone to the moon; presumably that responsibility extended to the lunar samples as well (although it appears that this point had not been explicitly settled), and Phillips asked Houston for suggestions as to procedures. Concerning the lending of samples to museums and presentation of souvenirs to VIPs, however, he noted that "The Administrator will make the final determination of the overall allocation of lunar material for scientific and other purposes." 68 A mid-august general management review at Headquarters reaffirmed this position, stating that the Public Affairs Office had primary responsibility for arranging exhibition, presentation, or other uses of the samples, and it was directed to develop plans for presentation, "if possible, of small amounts of lunar material to Chiefs of State as desired by the President." The Offices of Manned Space Flight and Space Science and Applications were asked to indicate how much material, if any, and what kind (i.e., rocks or dust) could be made available for such purposes. 69 When Headquarters called for that information, MSC's response reflected the view of lunar scientists. They were not inclined to be liberal in giving away lunar rocks, which they rightly regarded as a priceless scientific resource. Director Robert R. Gilruth replied that he could make available 150 to 200 presentation samples, each consisting of 100 milligrams (less than the volume of an aspirin tablet) of fines from the bulk or contingency samples. Concerning VIP souvenirs, Gilruth said that "we could make available if required about 10 samples of 1 gm each... to be given away if needed [emphasis in the original]," but the Center would prefer not to part with samples that big. For museums, ten 50-gram (1.75-ounce) rock specimens might be made available on loan, provided they could be recalled on one month's notice by Houston's curator of lunar samples. 70 Not surprisingly, public interest in the lunar samples was tremendous, and in September the first of several displays of moon rocks was opened in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Thousands queued up to get a glimpse of a moon rock; many found it disappointingly ordinary. 71 Presentation samples - tiny portions of lunar dust, packaged in plastic vials and attractively mounted in plaques - were prepared for the world's heads of state and presented by astronauts or government officials on world tours. So far as can be determined, no lunar rocks were cut and polished as paperweights for the desks of VIPs

177 Nixon had already drawn considerable adverse criticism from some newspapers, which accused him of trying to turn Apollo to his own political advantage in spite of his negligible record of supporting the space program. His telephone call to the astronauts on the moon, the addition of his signature to those of the astronauts on the commemorative plaque on the lunar module Eagle, and his visit to the Hornet (on his way to a tour of Asia), were all cited as attempts to get unmerited credit for the Apollo accomplishment. See the editorial in the Washington Post, "Our Mark on the Moon," July 3, 1969; Herblock's cartoon "Lunar Hitchhiker," Washington Post, July 6, 1969; "Plaque Pique," Washington Evening Star, July 9, 1969; Marianne Means, "President Nixon and the Astronauts," Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, July 13, 1969; "Hate the President," Richmond (Va.) News Leader, July 15, 1969; William Hines, "Nixon Skims Off the Cream," Washington Sunday Star, July 27, Astronauts Given Clean Bill of Health Premission plans called for the astronauts to be kept in isolation for 21 days after their exposure to lunar material. If one of them had developed signs of infection by an exotic organism, or if some adverse effects had appeared in the living systems being tested, their confinement could have been extended. Samples were to be kept until results were in from all the biological protocols, which would be completed within 50 to 80 days after the samples entered the receiving laboratory, depending on test results. 72 From the medical standpoint the quarantine of the astronauts was absolutely uneventful. Not the slightest sign of ill effects appeared in any of the astronauts, the support personnel, or the technicians who were quarantined after two breaches of containment in the vacuum laboratory.* So, after reviewing the results of initial biological testing and finding no evidence of infectious agents, the Interagency Committee on Back Contamination agreed to release the astronauts and their companions in confinement at 1 a.m. on August 11, one day earlier than originally planned. The committee recommended, however, that they be kept under medical surveillance until biological testing was complete and the samples were released. 73 The early morning hour for release was quite likely chosen in the hope of avoiding a wild scramble with the news media at the door of the crew quarters. But after a month of close confinement Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins were not inclined to stay an hour longer than necessary; so at 9 p.m. on August 10, after the last medical examinations had been completed, they walked out of the living quarters, made some brief remarks to the few reporters present, and were whisked away to their homes. 74 After a press conference on the morning of the 12th, the astronauts were scheduled to leave on a worldwide personal appearance tour. * The first, a rupture of a glove in the vacuum system on Aug. 1 (see above), sent two technicians into quarantine; on Aug. 5 a leak in an autoclave exposed four more to lunar materials. The most direct exposure to lunar soil occurred on July 25 when a photo technician picked up a film magazine that Buzz Aldrin had dropped on the lunar surface and found his hand covered with the tenacious black dust. He was already in quarantine but had to decontaminate himself by showering for five minutes. K. L. Suit, "Apollo 11 LRL Daily Summary Report, 1200 July 25 to 1200 July 26."

178 Releasing the Samples Activity in the receiving laboratory remained at a high level.during August, aimed at releasing the samples in mid-september. Two batches of material were prepared for biological examination. A "bioprime" sample, taken from the two core tubes, went to the biological section on July 27, to be examined for evidence of living organisms or their relics. A "biopool" sample, comprising several hundred grams of the "fines" plus chips taken from the lunar rocks in the bulk sample container, provided the material that would be tested in numerous living systems to determine its toxicity or pathogenicity. 75 The pooled sample was prepared the following week, and the extensive biological test protocols got under way. 76 Throughout August the daily LRL summary reports indicated no observable effects in the biological tests. Lunar material was injected into germ-free mice, cultured to detect growth of microorganisms and viruses, and otherwise introduced into both plant and animal species. In no case was any effect noted that indicated a hazard for earth organisms. Gross and microscopic investigation of exposed systems showed only minor and localized abnormalities, if any. No exotic microorganisms appeared in the cultures. One interesting observation was that the lunar samples stimulated growth in some of the plants tested. 77 The Interagency Committee on Back Contamination reviewed the evidence from the biological tests and concluded that the material returned by Apollo 11 was biologically harmless. The committee notified MSC Director Robert Gilruth that he could release the samples at noon on September Principal investigators began picking up their allotted samples in person at the lunar receiving laboratory, as required by their contracts, and the detailed investigation of lunar material began. 79 Many investigators, however, needed specimens (such as thin sections of rock) that required time to prepare, and sample distribution was only completed several weeks after initial release. 80 Scientific Side Issues: Security and Publication With the return of the unique, expensive, and widely ballyhooed moon rocks, NASA and its scientific advisory bodies anticipated some potential problems that could embarrass both the space agency and the community of lunar scientists. One was the theft or unauthorized use of the samples; another was an unseemly scramble to publish results. To minimize the chances of such undesirable events, the contracts covering the scientific investigation of lunar material stipulated that the contracting institution would establish strict security and accounting procedures for the samples, and that the investigator would reserve initial presentation of all results for a symposium to be held as soon as possible after each mission. 81 Both provisions violated established scientific practice to some extent, particularly the agreement to withhold publication; but in view of the unique significance of the lunar samples and the benefits to be gained by discussion at a lunar science symposium, scientists agreed to them. Not surprisingly, since the samples were released before any of the samples were publicly displayed, requests for permission to display the research samples came in as soon as they were received. 82 These were considered case by case at Headquarters and usually were approved. 83 This undoubtedly contributed to the public-relations dividends NASA was accumulating from the first lunar landing

179 To disseminate the results of the initial lunar investigations to the widest possible audience, NASA took the unusual step of entering into a contract with a single journal 84 : Science, published weekly by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and circulated in 120 countries. Science undertook to devote a single issue to the preliminary results of the Apollo 11 research and to conduct all the normal work of reviewing and editing the manuscripts on an unusually tight schedule; NASA would cover any excess costs entailed by this accelerated process. 85 A week after the samples were released, the lunar sample preliminary examination team published the results of its work - the only results of the first lunar landing to appear in the scientific literature before the symposium scheduled for early January Inasmuch as preliminary examination was not intended to produce answers to the important scientific questions about the moon, the paper was mostly confined to descriptions of the lunar material and the procedures followed in the lunar receiving laboratory. 86 Nonetheless, this early work had produced data that permitted drawing some tentative conclusions. Two generic groups of samples could be distinguished: fine- and medium-grained crystalline rocks of igneous origin, which were probably originally deposited as lava flows, and breccias (heterogeneous crystalline rocks compacted from smaller particles without extensive alteration) of complex history. There was no water at the Tranquility site and probably never had been any since the samples were exposed. Neither was there any significant amount of organic material (considerably less than one part per million), which might have indicated something about life on the moon. The rocks and dust were chemically similar to each other and contained the same chemical elements as igneous rocks on earth. But in their mineral content the igneous rocks were different from terrestrial rocks and meteorites. Evidence was found that the lunar material had been chemically fractionated, some volatile elements being depleted and some refractory (high-melting) elements enriched. One of the more striking conclusions of the preliminary examination was that the igneous rocks on the moon had crystallized between three and four billion years ago - as old as any found on earth, perhaps even older, given the uncertainty in the measurements. Furthermore, the samples collected at Tranquility Base had been within 1 meter (39 inches) of the surface for 20 to 160 million years. Many of the rocks and fines showed signs of having been subjected to severe shock, such as might result from the impact of meteorites. The rounded, eroded surfaces found on many of the rocks suggested continuous bombardment by micrometeorites. Glass-lined surface pits suggested the same thing. 87 Interest in the moon rocks tended to overshadow the results of the surface experiments that the astronauts had left behind. The passive seismometer had recorded the footsteps of the lunar explorers as soon as it was activated, and ground-based scientists noted a response when Armstrong and Aldrin tossed out excess equipment before departing. Two fairly large seismic events in the first week of operation excited geophysicists at first, but when they were not repeated the scientists concluded that they could have been false signals originating in the instrument itself. Even so, the very lack of seismic activity was indicative that the moon's interior was not like the earth's. 88 The other instrument, the laser retroreflector, was difficult to locate from earth because it was in strong sunlight, which made detection of the reflected light pulse difficult. Only after lunar sunset would astronomers be able to use the instrument in the manner for which it had been designed

180 Sketchy as these results were, they clearly showed that Apollo would revolutionize scientific thought about the moon and its relation to the earth. The detailed studies would show how extensive this revolution might be. [see Chapter 14] 90 The End of the Beginning While editorial writers and columnists pondered the significance of Apollo 11 and where the space program should go, NASA managers and engineers were preparing for the next lunar flight. In the same manned space flight weekly report that documented the lunar landing, George Mueller noted that Apollo 12 was scheduled for launch on November 14 and Apollo 13 would follow on March 9, For Administrator Thomas O. Paine's information, Mueller listed the landing sites tentatively assigned to the nine remaining missions. They included one western mare, several sites in the lunar highlands, and two large craters, Tycho and Copernicus - all selected for their scientific interest, some presenting real operational challenges. Missions were scheduled at four- to five-month intervals through December After Apollo 11 such a schedule seemed reasonable. The necessary launch vehicles and spacecraft were either completed or on order. Having finally worked through all phases of a lunar landing mission, operations officers were satisfied that it could be done safely. Mission planners could see many ways to improve operations. Both lunar scientists and NASA engineers would have been happier with longer intervals between launches, but Mueller felt that a tight schedule would keep the skills of the launch teams well honed - and that it would keep costs down. Cost was important, for NASA's appropriations had been steadily declining since fiscal 1965, when they peaked at just over $5 billion. For fiscal 1969, Congress had given the space agency just less than $4 billion. To some degree the reductions resulted from declining expenditures in Apollo; but they also reflected a change in the nation's attitudes during the decade. Heightened public sensitivity to the condition of the cities, the plight of the poor, and the deterioration of the environment put the space program in a different light. When Apollo was proposed, it seemed a way to get the country moving again; in the summer of its achievement, the space program seemed to many an unwelcome drain on resources needed for other purposes. But it was post-apollo programs that were most affected by the changing climate of public opinion. The lunar landing project, although it had accomplished its major objective, still offered enough promise for adding to the store of knowledge to retain a constituency and preserve its momentum. After Apollo 11, engineers and scientists alike looked ahead to improving their ability to uncover more of the secrets that lay under the barely scratched surface

181 Notes 1. Courtney G. Brooks, James M. Grimwood, and Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., Chariots for Apollo: A History of Manned Lunar Spacecraft, NASA SP-4205 (Washington, 1979), p Ibid., pp Interview with Joseph P. Kerwin, Jr., Mar. 29, 1985; interview with John R. Sevier, Apr. 24, NASA Release , Aug. 4, W. David Compton and Charles D. Benson, Living and Working in Space: A History of Skylab, NASA SP-4208 (Washington, 1983), pp Interview with Donald K. Slayton, Oct. 15, Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp Ibid., pp Ibid., pp Ibid., pp ; "Apollo 9 Mission Report," MSC PA-R-69-2, May 1969, pp. 1-1 to "Apollo 10 Mission Report," MSC-00126, Aug. 1969, p Charles D. Benson and William Barnaby Faherty, Moonport: A History of Apollo Launch Facilities and Operations, NASA SP-4204 (Washington, 1978), p Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp Ibid., pp ; MSC, "Apollo 11 Crew Training Summaries (Jan. 31-July 15, 1969)," folder in box , JSC History Office Apollo files. 15. Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp ; Langley Research Center, "Lunar Landing Research Facility and Landing Loads Track," presentation at Field Inspection of Advanced Research and Technology, Hampton, Va., May 18-22, 1964, copy in box , JSC History Office Apollo files; George E. Mueller to Robert R. Gilruth, Feb. 19, 1969; Gilruth to Mueller, Apr. 1, Bell Aerosystems Co. release, Jan. 20, 1967, in box , JSC History Office Apollo files; several good photographs of the LLTV in flight are found in "Series of Lunar Landings Simulated," Aviation Week & Space Technology, June 30, See also David F. Gebhard, "Factors in the Choice of LEM Piloting and Testing Techniques," SAE Preprint 866F, April 1964; Gene J. Matringa, Donald L. Mallick, and Emil E. Kleuver, "An Assessment of Ground and Flight Simulators for the Examination of Manned Lunar Landing," AIAA Paper , presented at AIAA Flight Test, Simulation and Support Conference, Cocoa Beach, Fla., Feb. 6-8, 1967; and James P. Bigham, Jr., "The lunar landing

182 training vehicle," Simulation, July 1970, pp , copies in box 08l-46, JSC History Office Apollo files; Richard H. Holzapfel, TWX to NASA, attn.: B. P. Helgeson, May 7, 1968; T. O. Paine to LLRV- 1 Review Board, "Investigation and Review of Crash of Lunar Landing Training Vehicle #1," Dec. 11, 1968; idem, "Investigation and Review of Crash of Lunar Landing Research Vehicle #1," Dec. 31, Bigham, "The Lunar Landing Training Vehicle." 18. "Apollo 11 Crew Training Summary." 19. Elbert A. King, Jr., interview with Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., May 17, 1971, tape in JSC History Office Apollo files. 20. Mueller to Administrator, "Manned Space Flight Report - May 26, 1969." 21. Idem, Manned Space Flight Reports: May 26, June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 1969; "Apollo 11 Crew Training Summary"; Slayton, Flight Crew Operations Directorate Weekly Activity Reports: May 30, June 6, 13, 20, July 3, 11, 18, Julian Scheer to Slayton, June 3, 1969; Slayton to Scheer, "Attendance of Apollo 10 and 11 crews at White House dinner," June 9, Mueller to Administrator, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report - July 7, 1969." 24. Slayton, "Weekly Activity Report - June 14-20, 1969, Flight Crew Operations Directorate." 25. Mueller to Administrator, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report - June 23, 1969"; ibid., June 9, 1969; Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp , Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp ; MSC, "Apollo 11 Technical Air-to-Ground Voice Transcription (GOSS Net 1)," July 1969 (hereinafter cited as "Air-to-Ground"), p Air-to-Ground, p Ibid., p Ibid., p Ibid., p Ibid., pp. 322, , 336, , , Air-to-Ground, p. 377; Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, p After the crew returned to Houston, press representatives repeatedly asked what Armstrong had actually said. The Apollo news center at MSC issued the following release (copy in box , JSC History Office files) on July 30, 1969: "Armstrong said that his words when he first stepped onto the moon were: "That's one small step

183 for a man, one giant leap for mankind" not "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" as originally transcribed." 33. Air-to-Ground, pp Ibid., pp King interview. 36. Air-to-Ground, pp Ibid., pp Ibid., pp l. 39. Ibid., pp ; MSC, "Apollo 11 Technical Crew Debriefing, July 31, 1969," pp to Air-to-Ground, pp Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, pp ; "Technical Crew Debriefing," pp to 16-12; Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., to Dir., Flight Crew Operations, "Suitability of the Biological Isolation Garments," Oct. 2, Brooks, Grimwood, and Swenson, Chariots, p "Apollo 11 Mission Report," MSC-00171, pp to "Apollo 11 Mission Report," pp to 13-5; Kenneth L. Suit, "LRL Apollo 11 Daily Summary Report (1200 July 24 to 1200 July 25)," July 25, Suit, "Apollo 11 LRL Daily Summary Report, 1200 July 25 to 1200 July 26." 46. Victor Cohn, "Old Moon Game Taunts Players," Washington Post, Sept. 21, MSC, "LRL Daily Summary Report No. 3," July 26, Suit, "Apollo 11 LRL Daily Summary Report, 1200 July 25 to 1200 July 26." 49. [Suit], "Apollo 11 LTD Daily Summary Report, 1200 July 26 to 1200 July 27"; Richard S. Johnston, "LRL Daily Summary Report No. 4," July 27, Cohn, "Old Moon Game"; "Scientists Get First Look at Moon Rocks," Washington Sunday Star, July 27, Johnston, "LRL Daily Summary Report No. 4."

184 52. Lunar Sample Preliminary Examination Team, "Preliminary Examination of Lunar Samples from Apollo 11," Science 165 (1969): (19 Sept. 1969). 53. Johnston, "LRL Daily Summary Report No. 4"; Cohn, "Old Moon Game." 54. Lunar Sample Analysis Planning Team, "Sample Information Summary #1," July 29, 1969, "Sample Information Summary #2," July 31, "Sample Information Summary #1." 56. "LRL Summary Report No. 7," July 31, "LRL Summary Report No. 8," Aug. 1, Ibid. 59. "LRL Summary Report No. 9," Aug. 2, 1969; "Sample Information Summary #3," Aug. 2, Ibid.; Johnston, "Lunar Receiving Laboratory Sample Flow Directive, Revision A," MSC-00002, July 1, 1969, p "Apollo 11 Mission Report," p Ibid. 63. MSC Public Affairs Office, "Lunar Receiving Laboratory - Status Report No. 1," July 21, Idem, "Status Report, John McLeaish Comments on Crew, 7/28/69, CDT 08:05 AM," July 28, 1969; Richard S. Johnston, Lawrence F. Dietlein, M.D., and Charles A. Berry, M.D., eds., Biomedical Results of Apollo, NASA SP-368 (Washington, 1975), p If indeed there was a serious risk of contaminating the earth with alien organisms, the decision to breach quarantine in the event of a lifethreatening emergency would have meant taking that risk rather than sacrificing an astronaut. No one seems to have contested that decision; perhaps this indicates the real perception of risk from "moon bugs." 65. MSC, "Lunar Receiving Laboratory, MSC Building 37, Facility Description," September 1968, pp. 8-19; "Apollo 11 Technical Crew Debriefing," vol. II, p MSC Public Affairs Office, Crew Status Reports, July 28-Aug. 10, George M. Low to NASA Hqs., attn.: Lt. Gen. S. C. Phillips, "Special Lunar Samples for Museum Display or Presentation to VIPs," July 7, Phillips to Low, "Lunar Sample Accounting," Aug. 5,

185 69. Willis H. Shapley to multiple addressees, "Lunar Sample Material," Aug. 19, It was reported that Nixon offered the President of Indonesia and other chiefs of state "a piece of the moon as a souvenir"; New York Times, July 28, 1969, cited in Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1969: Chronology on Science, Technology, and Policy, NASA SP-4014 (Washington, 1970), p Phillips, TWX to Low, Aug. 15, 1969; Robert R. Gilruth to Rocco A. Petrone, "Non-Scientific Use of Lunar Samples," Sept. 5, Forwarding the latter memo to George Low, Wilmot Hess (whose deputy, Anthony Calio, had drafted it for Gilruth's signature) stressed his own distaste for the plan to present large samples to VIPs - a distaste that was shared by the lunar scientists. Elbert King, who had been appointed first curator of lunar samples, did everything he could to prevent distribution of any lunar samples as souvenirs. When he first heard of the plan to present souvenirs to VIPs, his impression was that "they were talking about big polished pieces of rock for paperweights.... Here was priceless scientific material that was going to be cut up as political trophies." The White House proposal was even more offensive to King, and when a Washington paper called him to ask for his reaction, he commented that it would be unthinkable - a reaction which, he recalled later, "caused much unhappiness within the center, because here was someone [at MSC] disagreeing with the President, and that's very poor form." Elbert A. King, Jr., interview with L. S. Swenson, Jr., May 27, 1971, tape in JSC History Office files; Marti Mueller, "Trouble at NASA: Space Scientists Resign," Science 165 (1969): "8,200 View Moon Rock," Washington Evening Star, Sept. 18, 1969, "'It looks like any rock,'" Washington Daily News, Sept. 18, Johnston et al., Biomedical Results of Apollo, p "Minutes, Interagency Committee on Back Contamination," Aug. 10, Don Kirkman, "Germ-Free Apollos Sent Home," Washington Daily News, Aug. 11, 1969; Albert Sehlstedt, Jr., "Astronauts Brace For Celebrations," Baltimore Sun, Aug. 12, "Apollo 11 LTD Daily Summary Report, 1200 July 26 to 1200 July 27"; Wilmot N. Hess, "LRL Summary Report No. 7," July 31, A summary of the investigations is found in Johnston et al., Biomedical Results of Apollo, pp MSC, "Sample Information Summary #5 Final," Aug. 27, 1969, p. 13; see also LRL Summary Reports for Aug. 1 through Aug J. W. Humphreys, Jr., to Dir., MSC, "Release of all lunar material and lunar exposed material in Building 37, Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Texas," Sept. 11, Rocco A. Petrone, TWX to Gilruth, "Approval of MSC proposed allocation of Apollo 11 lunar sample material for distribution to approved principal investigators for scientific analysis," Sept. 9, 1969; Petrone, TWX to Gilruth, "Release of lunar samples," Sept. 12, 1969; NASA Hqs., "Moon Surface Samples Distributed," Release No , Sept. 12,

186 80. Richard A. Wright, "Lunar and Earth Sciences weekly activity report," Oct. 17, Paine to Gilruth, Sept. 8, Some investigators did not conform to the ban. In November, a scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey wrote indignantly to MSC's director of science and applications, enclosing clippings that indicated some findings had been released prematurely and outside of normal scientific channels. According to one, Harold Urey had stated in a talk in San Diego that the Apollo 11 samples had been found to be 4.6 billion years old, which supported his theory of the moon's origin. G. Brent Dalrymple to Anthony J. Calio, Nov. 13, 1969, with encl., copy of article, "Moon Rocks' Age Is Now Firmly Fixed," San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 8, E. F. Bartell (Cornell Univ.), TWX to Space Sciences Procurement Branch, MSC, Sept. 16, William L. Green, TWX to MSC, attn. Brian Duff, Oct. 3, Donald U. Wise, TWX to MSC, attn. Dr. W. Hess, Aug. 11, Philip H. Abelson, "The Moon Issue," Science 167 (1969): The Lunar Sample Preliminary Examination Team, "Preliminary Examination of Lunar Samples from Apollo 11," Science 165 (1969): Ibid., p Cohn, "Seismometer on Moon Registers Disturbance," Washington Post, July 23, 1969, "Moon Tremor Recorded by Apollo Device," ibid., July 24, Idem, "Moon Tremor Recorded." 90. Idem, "Old Moon Game Taunts Players." 91. Mueller, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report - July 28, 1969."

187 10 LUNAR EXPLORATION BEGINS Introduction For a while during the summer of 1969, NASA basked in the afterglow of two major successes. Within a few days of the return of the first men from the moon, two unmanned spacecraft, Mariner 6 and 7, flew by Mars and transmitted hundreds of closeup photographs - the first since Mariner 4 in 1965 and the most detailed ever. 1 Some continuity in manned space flight was assured when several years of difficult planning culminated in the decision - made while Apollo 11 was on its way back to earth - on a configuration and mission plans for the first post-apollo project, Skylab. 2 Successes notwithstanding, the future of manned space flight was far from settled. The Nixon administration, just eight months in office, had not adopted a policy on space and was waiting far recommendations from a special Space Task Group appointed in January Early indications were that the new administration was more strongly committed to reductions in government spending than to ambitious space programs. 3 The national enthusiasm generated by Apollo 11 was soon spent. In the words of a journalist who had followed the program from its early days, The people who in 1961 said, 'yessir, let's go to the moon and beat the Russians' had become a different people by There was the feeling: 'we won the war, now bring the boys home.'... no one wanted a big space program any more. * 4 * "Bring the boys home" was a cry raised throughout the country as soon as World War II ended in August As a result, the U.S. hastily - some thought unwisely - discharged millions of draftees from the armed services and dismantled its military forces around the world

188 "No one" is an exaggeration - there were many who believed in continuing manned space flight at an ambitious pace, particularly NASA Administrator Thomas O. Paine - but certainly the public's enthusiasm for space flight waned rapidly after Apollo 11. Apollo would not suffer the full effects of this change in public opinion, but neither would it escape them entirely. Until the first lunar landing was accomplished, George Mueller intended to launch missions as frequently as possible. At the end of June 1969 three Saturn/Apollo vehicles were in preparation at Kennedy Space Center: Apollo 11 on the launch pad, Apollo 12 in the Vehicle Assembly Building, and Apollo 13 components being readied for stacking. Headquarters' launch forecast issued in June projected flights only two months apart, in July, September, and November - essentially the same schedule that had existed for more than a year. 5 After the first successful landing the interval between missions was extended to four months: Apollo 12 was rescheduled for November 14 and Apollo 13 was targeted for earliest launch readiness by March 9, On With Lunar Exploration Pleased by the results of Apollo 11, scientists called for scientific goals to take priority on subsequent missions. Those goals, stated by the Santa Cruz summer study in 1967, included extending the Apollo landing zone to cover more of the moon's surface, increasing the time the astronauts could remain on the lunar surface, and providing mobility aids to enable the astronauts to cover more ground in the time available. [see Chapter 7 and Appendix 3] The scientists also noted the desirability of gathering data from lunar orbit, either by deploying an independent lunar satellite from the command and service module or by using sensors mounted in the CSM. Four working groups had found good reasons to use the moon-orbiting CSM for scientific purposes.* 7 As soon as Apollo 11 was safely down in the Pacific, Mueller directed the manned space flight centers to shift their efforts to lunar exploration. The manned space flight organization had long agreed in a general way that the scientists' goals were the primary justification for continuing the lunar landing program and had, in fact, begun studying the changes implied in those goals as soon as the Santa Cruz conference was over. Improved mobility was the most urgent need for the scientific missions. The conferees at Santa Cruz had called for both a lunar flying unit and a surface-traversing vehicle. Since both vehicles were likely to require extensive development, the Manned Spacecraft Center's Lunar Exploration Project Office had begun technical discussions with several contractors in the fall of After a year spent in defining requirements, MSC awarded two seven-month preliminary definition contracts for a flying unit in January Marshall Space Flight Center let study contracts in April for a dual-mode surface vehicle, which could be remotely controlled from earth after the astronauts left the moon. 9 Equally high on the priority list for exploration missions was extending the time astronauts could stay on the moon. Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company, the lunar module contractor, had made some preliminary studies on modification of the lander for that purpose in Life-support systems and * This option had been available since 1964, when engineers defining the Block II service module had arranged its systems so that one sector was left empty to accommodate scientific instruments. Courtney G. Brooks, James M. Grimwood, and Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., Chariots for Apollo: A History of Manned Lunar Spacecraft, NASA SP-4205 (Washington, 1979), p The Santa Cruz planners had envisioned one or two lunar-orbit missions devoted entirely to photography and remote sensing, as then-current plans for Apollo Applications provided

189 electrical power were enough for only 36 hours on the surface; longer stays would require hardware changes. Propulsion systems would have to be upgraded to carry the scientific equipment and mobility module to be taken on exploration missions. In March 1969, MSC directed Grumman to define the changes necessary to allow the lunar module to stay three to six days on the moon, with their cost and schedule impacts. 11 Planning for lunar-orbital science began in May of 1968, when Wilmot Hess, acting on a request from the Lunar Exploration Office in Headquarters, asked the Apollo spacecraft program office to look into the question of placing a scientific payload in the service module. 12 MSC commissioned North American Rockwell, the spacecraft contractor, to study the effects on cost and schedule of adding scientific instrumentation to the spacecraft as early as Apollo As that study drew toward a dose without discovering any major difficulties, MSC established a panel to review the operational implications of making scientific observations in lunar orbit and to identify the scientific activities that could be conducted during a lunar exploration mission. 14 By early 1969 MSC had concluded that a package could be developed in time to fly on Apollo 14 in the last half of 1970 and had compiled a tentative list of instruments for evaluation by the Space Science and Applications Steering Committee. Director Robert Gilruth sent Headquarters the center's procurement plan, which provided for MSC to procure the instruments and deliver them as government-furnished equipment to North American to be integrated into the service module. Early approval and provision of the necessary funds by Headquarters were essential to meeting the projected schedule. 15 In early April the Office of Space Science and Applications approved a group of experiments for the first phase of the lunar-orbit science project. 16 Apollo Program Manager Sam Phillips wanted more specific information before granting final approval and releasing funds, however. 17 The proposal was discussed in detail by Mueller's Management Council on May 7, after which Mueller gave MSC the authority to proceed - but on Apollo 16 rather than Apollo 14. Details of integrating the experiments into the service module remained to be settled, as did the exact mode of operation of each experiment, and this would take time. 18 On June 30 Headquarters sent Houston a list of lunar-orbital experiments for Apollo 16 through 20, with authority to continue North American's integration effort and begin procurement of experiments. Assignment of experiments to specific flights could not yet be made, because the list was subject to revision during the summer. Total cost of the project was not to exceed $55 million. 19 The manned space flight organization worked steadily from 1967 onward to lay the foundations for scientific exploitation of the Apollo systems, but the effort was often overshadowed by preparations for the first lunar landing. With NASA's encouragement, the Santa Cruz conference that summer had called for a maximum effort. The scientists' recommendations had been carefully considered, and by mid-1969 many of the most important ones were on their way to realization. It seems clear that if manned space flight had enjoyed the assurance of a high level of support, the lunar scientists would have gotten more. As it was, lunar exploration had to proceed with little more than had been projected by mid-1969: limited extension of the duration of exploration missions, a limited increase in the range of operations on the lunar surface, and a few lunar-orbital sensors

190 Selecting Sites for Exploration Since its primary objective was to land on the moon and return, Apollo 11 had been targeted for the least hazardous site. When the emphasis shifted to exploration, however, scientific considerations carried much greater weight in the choice of a landing site. 20 Even so, every landing was as risky as the first, and if MSC vetoed a site or expressed strong reservations about its feasibility on operational grounds, Headquarters and the Apollo Site Selection Board were reluctant to override the center's recommendations for the sake of enhanced scientific return. 21 During 1968 and early 1969 the Apollo Site Selection Board necessarily concentrated on choosing landing areas for the first two missions. Five prime candidates had been chosen by December 1967, from which three - an eastern, a central, and a western, to allow for possible delays in the launch - were picked for the first landing. [see Chapter 8] It was more or less taken for granted that if the first landing Table 1. Lunar Landing Sites Recommended for Consideration as of June 1969.* * From minutes of the Apollo Site Selection Board meeting, June 3,


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